Traditional means of transport deploy the energy of hydrocarbons – that took millions of years to form and which are stored deep beneath the Earth’s surface – to function. In the case of the natural water cycle, the sun’s energy promotes water evaporation from natural resources, such as rivers, lakes, seas and plants. The evaporated water forms clouds, which send the energy back to the Earth’s surface in the form of rain. This rain then forms streams, rivers, lakes and seas. This way the natural cycle is complete within a relatively short time.
Humans have been engaging in using water’s potential energy by building hydroelectric power plants and, for example, electric vehicles. But in this case, we only take from the water cycle and don’t give anything back.
However, it is a completely different story with means of transport that run on hydrogen. In this case, we merge or, in other words, ‘join’ with the natural water cycle. We only borrow the water from natural resources for a short period of time. This water is then, with the help of energy generated from the sun or wind, separated in the process of hydrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, the energy that is stored in hydrogen gets transferred into various means of transport, through the use of charging stations. The fuel cells in the means of transport mix the generated hydrogen with oxygen from the atmosphere to form water. In this process, electricity is produced, which powers the electromotor of the means of transport. The water that is produced as a by-product is emitted from the exhaust in a natural process, in the form of vapour. Thus, means of transport become a part of the natural water cycle, whereby water is taken out of the cycle for only a short period of time and renewable energies, such as sun and wind, are used. In this context it is important to mention that we do not consume the energy that nature stored deep beneath the Earth’s surface millions and millions of years ago in the form of hydrocarbons.