hyryd hydrogen powered bike e-bike

Hydrogen Powered Bikes – The Future of Transport or Massively Overhyped?

by Nathan Schaumann

Do hydrogen powered bikes have a place in the market? Despite the dominant place that battery powered bikes have historically taken in the e-bike industry, some companies are daring to do things differently. HYRYD is one such company, using pure hydrogen as fuel for their bikes. Although the bike is nearly indistinguishable from most battery powered e-bikes both in look and feel, HYRYD feels that their bikes have something special to offer – increased sustainability. 

Click here for the latest on HYRYD’s hydrogen bikes. 

Hydrogen Powered Bikes – Features

  • 3-10 second refuel 
  • 60 km/36 mi range per 500ml hydrogen bottle
  • Only fuel cell byproduct is water
  • Same speed and torque as battery powered bikes
  • Liquid hydrogen can be produced in home 
  • Similar aesthetic to e-bikes
  • 250 W motor

Hydrogen Powered Bikes – Pros and Cons

Most of the potential benefits to hydrogen-powered bikes versus battery-powered bikes exist in theory only – the bikes are new enough that they haven’t proven themselves in the real world on a widespread scale. Hence the emphasis on the potentiality of benefits. 

Hydrogen bikes have the potential to extend the range of e-bikes. HYRYD’s bikes only have a current range of 36 miles, which is on the low end of battery-powered bikes. But with bigger bottles (i.e. more hydrogen) the bikes could last much longer. They are also comparable in speed and torque to battery bikes. 

The liquid hydrogen that powers the bikes can also be made in your home. HYRYD offers a hydrogen generator that you can purchase for your home. This may seem like an expensive and unnecessary additional part for those used to simply plugging their bikes into an outlet. However the fast refill of hydrogen bikes makes them more like gas cars than electric cars, which have to sit and charge.

Despite being more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels, batteries still rely on rare materials such as lithium that often cause environmental harm and are almost completely controlled by China’s mining monopoly, making them vulnerable to supply-chain issues. Hydrogen is the most common element on earth, and can be extracted from water using electrolysis. This process can be solar-powered, and the only output of hydrogen fuel cells is clean water. 

But despite hydrogen fuel’s capability to be more green than batteries, there are so many factors that go into the sustainability of a product that it cannot be conclusively said to be more environmentally friendly than batteries until tested at a larger scale. One way that it could prove better than batteries is in reducing logistics for larger companies. Having to swap and charge batteries often requires large diesel vehicles. Hydrogen powered bikes could make this process more localized with generators. The potential that larger bottles have to extend bike range also means that switches could occur less frequently. 

Another debatable topic is safety. Most consider pressurized hydrogen bottles to be more safe than lithium batteries. But not everyone agrees with this idea, and there is some pushback over which is actually safer than the other. 

Probably the biggest drawback to hydrogen bikes is the price tag. Hydrogen-powered e-bikes are new to the market and selling for two to three times what comparably spec’ed battery-powered e-bikes cost. 

hyryd hydrogen powered bike e-bike
hyryd hydrogen powered bike e-bike

The Freshly Charged Take

Hydrogen bikes are unlikely to challenge battery-powered e-bikes for consumers’ attention. The companies like HYRYD that are exploring this domain are more focused on company sales rather than selling to individuals. Hydrogen-powered e-bikes have the potential to further reduce environmental impact and reduce the logistics involved in owning and operating fleets of e-bikes, but for now widespread use seems far away and is dependent on hydrogen bikes proving their usefulness. 

Click here for the latest on HYRYD’s hydrogen bikes.

hyryd 5

E-Bike Comparison Tool

Use our Freshly Charged E-bike Comparison Tool to evaluate more than 450 E-bikes. Compare and organize bikes by factors such as price, pedal-assisted speed, battery size, weight, tire size, and more!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Subscribe for the Latest PEV News

We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

Copyright © 2024 Freshly Charged.