When diving into new innovation, it's important to determine what featuers of the technology has fundamentally shifted. When it was cars, the arrival of gasoline changed the landscape completely. It was cheap and readily available.

In planes, hydrogen fuel looks the new innovation. While electric cars are popular, those batteries are too shallow for aircrafts. We need something stronger like hydrogen fuel.

It can potentially be the game changer in airplanes industry.

Let's dive deep.

Hydrogen is Dream Fuel

Let's start off with why we love hydrogen so much. First and foremost, it's darn clean. Hydrogen fuel combines atmospheric O2 and outputs water as byproduct. In the world full of CO2, this combustion mechanism seems very appealing. Even though it still heats the atmosphere with hot water, the zero emission from CO2 will offset the negative result, German Aerospace Center calculated. On top of CO2, hydrogen fuel does not create many of the harmful particles produced by kerosene (jet fuel).

How much it cost?

Ok, we've heard enough of the goodies. The real question is how much it costs.

As with organic food, everything environmentally healthy comes with hefty price tag. Hydrogen fuel is no exception.

It is estimated per kw:

Jet fuel costs $0.07

Electric fuel costs $0.12

Hydrogen fuel costs $0.39

As you can see hydrogen costs 5 times more.

Of course, there're other costs to concern. Hydrogen fuel has less volume density than kerosene so they'll take up 4 times larger space. That will force main shafts to

Unless you're willing to pay $800 from California to New York, hydro fuel is not happening.

What About the Future?

We used to say that about solar panels. It seems like we went over that price curve finally in late 2010s.

It's the rate of price reduction that matters. So where are we at in terms of hydrogen fuel?

Hydrogen Council estimated our ability to produce hydrogen (electrolysis) would have increased by 55x from 2015 to 2025 . They also mentioned the 90% of cost reduction comes from scaling up supply chain.

However, we'll need 5 times cheaper to have it cost effective. It'll need some time to increase the basic research or have the government put higher tax on carbon emission (it'd drive us crazy though to pay 5 times more with taxation).

McKinsey in 2020 estimates around 2030-2040, 50% of all new medium range aircrafts will be sold as hydrogen. By 2050, 40% of aircraft will be driven by hydro fuel. They're a lot more bullish on using biofuel to offset the rest of airplanes' global warming impact.

That estimate seems reasonable. We start seeing small test flights with 15 passengers using hydrogen fuel. It will take a while to see it happen in long range planes.

Hydro is Not Cheap Battery Source

My initial hypothesis was in is the reduction in price of flight fuel. Electric cars are said to run at fraction of oil cost. Will it hold the same for hydrogen? If that's true, we can reduce the cost of flight radically. We can reduce the price.

That seems to be not true. Or suffice to say, that's not the concern for most. We're concerned about replacing fossil fuel part with hydrogen.