Auto Service World
News   July 9, 2018   by Allan Janssen

Does hydrogen have a future in the auto world?

In the third part of an exclusive new series, James Carters talks about hydrogen fuel cells and the likelihood that it will be a profitable development for the aftermarket.

Automotive consultant James Carter says hydrogen fuel cells have real potential for the heavy duty trucking industry, especially in isolated areas. It’s value to passenger vehicles remains to be proven.

“Hydrogen’s future depends largely on how the technology shakes out with fleet operators,” he says. “Will the range and refuelling advantages beat out the infrastructure concerns? Will it prove to be preferable to fast-improving battery technologies? Hydrogen’s success in these areas will determine whether you need to invest in the training and specialized equipment to service and maintain hydrogen fuel cells.”

Fortunately, he says, the aftermarket is in an enviable position. It has time on its side.

“The aftermarket typically doesn’t see vehicles in for service and repair until the warranty expires, usually at the three- or four-year mark,” Carter writes in the latest in a series of articles for AutoServiceWorld. “This means there’s time to observe and react, even if there are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles already in service.”

Ultimately, he says, hydrogen fuel cell maintenance could be a real business opportunity for some in the aftermarket, but it is likely to be a specialized type of service, rather than a generalist operation.

AutoServiceWorld has the latest insights from Carter, the principal consultant at Toronto-based consultancy Vision Mobility.

Among other topics covered in this series, Carter will discuss how the connected car threatens the independent aftermarket, and how long it might be before we all feel the disruption of growing fleet work. He’ll examine how changes in vehicle ownership will affect the aftermarket, and some of the new technologies that will rewrite your business.

Check out Part 3 of our FutureTech series HERE, and look for additional articles in the weeks to come… only at


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