Should motorists choose hydrogen, electric or hybrid?

Electric Car Plug

It won’t be long before motorists all over the UK and across the world are going to have to face a choice: should I continue with my petrol or diesel car, should I opt for a hybrid, should I go for fully electric or should I choose hydrogen?

We seem to be rapidly heading towards a moment in time when we have to choose to sit in one camp or the other, but for the average driver there really isn’t a clear and obvious option to pick. If we decide to stay where we are with our gas-guzzler, for example, we face years of guilt-ridden driving while everyone else takes the greener route, and of course we will see a gradual reduction in our search for spare parts and, crucially, for petrol and diesel forecourts.

Choosing a fully-electric car is clearly an option that many have already selected. This may well be the most common form of motoring in the future, but the infrastructure simply isn’t strong enough to persuade the nay-sayers. Far too many people are simply too worried about being left stranded in their Tesla with a flat battery, purely because every rare sighting of a charger was accompanied by a car already plugged into it or a sign saying OUT OF ORDER.

And there are some highly influential motoring experts who are willing to put their reputations on the line by advocating hydrogen, but despite the many positives this is still a long way from a perfect and workable solution. There’s little doubt that cars powered by hydrogen tick quite a few of the various boxes, but when will we be able to say they tick all of them? Maybe soon, maybe never, maybe somewhere in between.

Perhaps a compromise is the best option of all

The celebrated American economist Alan Greenspan once said “Unless we are willing to compromise, society cannot live together”, a particularly poignant quote that lends itself perfectly to the debate about the motoring of tomorrow. In many ways, the hybrid vehicle represents the ideal compromise, but only perhaps at this moment in time. Those cars which currently run on electric batteries most of the time and petrol engines some of the time are a seemingly wise choice.

Even wiser than that, however, could be the development of a hybrid car that’s part electric and part hydrogen. No petrol. No diesel. No fossil fuels. No scornful look from Greta Thunberg. No need to feel shame at next month’s Friends of the Environment cheese and wine party, either.

Renault is currently developing a part-electric/part-hydrogen hybrid that could very well be the definitive answer to what we should be driving next. It has a range of almost 500 miles, and a 40-kWh recyclable battery. The 2.5-kilogram hydrogen tank at the front can be filled in just five minutes, too, making it an extremely versatile option for even the most cynical of petrolheads. In recent times, we’ve heard more and more innovations being described as a ‘game-changer’, but this particular development might just change games in a grand way.

So, in conclusion, if you’re a driver and you’re not sure which option to choose next, don’t worry too much about your indecision. The fact is that most of us have no idea which option is best, and part of the reason for that is the continually changing landscape that we feast our eyes upon. Advancements and innovations are coming along thick and fast, mainly driven of course by the need for more sustainability. Trying to make sense of it all is a little like being shown a picture of two houses and being asked if you want to live in the one that’s in the middle.

Confusion reigns at the moment, but hopefully the picture will become less blurry in the coming years. In the meantime, here’s a philosophical paradox for you (incidentally, how many other PR specialists would treat you to a philosophical paradox these days?). It’s called Buridan’s Ass, and it refers to a donkey that’s placed precisely halfway between two separate stacks of hay. The donkey has no powers of logic, so it fails to choose either and eventually starves to death. It’s a harsh story, but don’t worry, it’s only hypothetical; no animals were harmed in the telling of this tale.

The lesson here, though, is simple: don’t be an ass, make the choice that you think is right. Sometimes it’s better than making no choice at all.


Rose Media Group, founded by Aneela Rose, is a specialist B2B PR agency based in West Sussex. We provide a range of PR services to clients working in automotive, aviation, construction and other sectors of industry.

Aneela Rose

Aneela Rose

Aneela Rose is Head of PR at Rose Media Group overseeing all research and media related activity across B2B and B2C.

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