Current status and prospects of fuel cell development

Since the 21st century, with the development of science and technology and the gradual improvement of human living standards, the demand for automobiles has also begun to grow rapidly. Automobile exhaust has become one of the main pollution sources of the atmosphere, and traditional internal combustion engine vehicles are difficult to solve the problem of fuel shortage and reducing pollutant emissions.

Therefore, in order to achieve the goal of energy saving and emission reduction, countries advocate the use of unconventional vehicle fuels as power sources for pure electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and other new energy vehicles to reduce or even not emit greenhouse gases to reduce the impact on the atmosphere. Pollution. With the increasing awareness of environmental protection in countries around the world, a consensus has been reached to reduce or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and many countries and regions have issued relevant policies to control and limit air pollution.

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At present, in order to encourage the development and commercialization of fuel cell vehicles, governments around the world have introduced corresponding measures and support policies, and they are also full of expectations for the promotion and use of fuel cell vehicles. In my country, the "Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020)" issued by the State Council in June 2012 included fuel cell vehicles, and planned the development direction of fuel cell vehicles, focusing on key basic components and FC systems. , Infrastructure and demonstration and other aspects to increase investment, and strive to keep pace with the world.

In May 2015, the "Made in China 2025" issued by the State Council proposed that it will continue to support the development of fuel cell vehicles, and that fuel cell vehicles of independent brands should be in line with the international advanced level and realize the localization of key materials and components. By 2020, my country’s FC life expectancy will reach the international level of 5000h, power density 2.5kW/L, cruising range 500km, durability 150,000km, hydrogenation time 3min, normal start at -30℃, 1000 fuel cell vehicles will be produced and run for demonstration . By 2025, my country will realize the regional small-scale operation of fuel cell vehicles.

In Japan, the Japanese government supports and guides car companies to develop fuel cell vehicles, implement purchase restrictions, and purchase fuel cell vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and other car companies. Japan vigorously promotes the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. It is planned to be the initial popularization stage from 2010 to 2020 and the actual popularization stage from 2020 to 2030. It plans to reach 15 million fuel cell vehicles by 2030, accounting for 1% of the Japanese automobile market. /5 or so.

In South Korea, the South Korean government plans to account for 10% of total new vehicle sales by 2030, and has formulated national subsidy standards and various preferential policies for the purchase of fuel cell vehicles, while helping automakers reduce production costs. Hyundai Motor Group will continue to accelerate the development, promotion and application of FC technology to help promote the market-oriented development of fuel cell vehicles in South Korea.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Automotive Research Council have jointly developed fuel cell vehicle technology and fuel hydrogen supply technology through the cooperation of the government and car companies. The government has promoted the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles through policy and financial support. In 2016, the US Department of Energy allocated 6 million US dollars to fund Ford Motor Company and Los Alamos National Laboratory to carry out FC technology research, develop low-cost product systems for FC, and ensure that the US clean energy vehicle research and development work is at a leading level.

In terms of cooperation between car companies, GM and Honda are working together to develop next-generation FC systems and hydrogen storage technology, and plan to go on the market before 2020. In Europe, the European Union plans to achieve commercial operation of vehicle FCs by 2020, and implement fuel cell vehicles in four stages: comprehensive demonstration operation, expansion of fuel supply networks, access to major European automobile markets, and large-scale commercial operation. commercialize. Major EU countries have also successively laid out the fuel cell vehicle market. For example, the United Kingdom plans to reach 1.6 million fuel cell vehicles by 2030, and achieve a market share of 30% to 50% of fuel cell vehicles by 2050.

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Fuel cell vehicles are a type of modern electric vehicles. Their body, power transmission system, and control system are basically the same as those of pure electric vehicles. The main difference lies in the difference in power batteries. Pure electric vehicles use secondary batteries such as lead-acid batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries, and lithium-ion batteries as power sources, while fuel cell vehicles use fuel cells as power sources, and all power loads are borne by fuel cells. The research and development of fuel cell vehicles began in the 1960s. In 1966, General Motors produced the world's first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which can accommodate two passengers, has a range of 193 kilometers, a speed of 113 km/h, and a battery life of 1,000 hours. , Limited to cost, safety factors and hydrogen refueling facilities and other reasons have not been able to continue development.

However, the United States has always attached great importance to the research and development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicles. The electric vehicle project launched in 1987 included the research and development of fuel cell technology, and in 1992 it proposed the application of fuel cell systems to transportation. In 2003, the United States invested up to US$1.2 billion in research funding to promote hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology, which greatly reduced the production cost of fuel cells for vehicles. In terms of vehicle research and development, General Motors began to study the application of proton exchange membrane fuel cells in automobiles in 1990. In October 2001, General Motors launched the "Hydrogen Power III" liquid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with a cruising range of 400km, a maximum power of 60kW, a crew of 5, a maximum speed of 130km/h, and an acceleration time of 13s from 0 to 100km.

In 2005, the ChevroletSequel fuel cell vehicle developed by General Motors has a cruising range of 480km, and the proton exchange membrane fuel cell can be started at -20°C. In 2007, General Motors launched the Project Driveway program to deliver 100 Chevrolet Equinox FCVs to consumers.

In 2009, the total mileage of Chevrolet Equinox FCV reached 1.6 million kilometers. The Chevrolet Equinox FCV manufactured by Ford Motor Company of the United States in 2005 has a range of 320km. 115 vehicles of this car were put into commercial operation in Los Angeles and other cities in the United States from 2007 to 2008. In 2007, Ford Motor Co., Ltd., the Ohio State University, Canada, Ballard Power Systems, and Roush Racing jointly manufactured the FusionHydrogen999, the world's fastest fuel cell vehicle, with a top speed of 207km/h.

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Although the R&D of fuel cell vehicles in my country started late, with the support of major projects such as the National Tenth Five-Year Plan, Eleventh Five-Year Plan and the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, as well as the 863 Plan and the 973 Plan, the technology of fuel cell vehicles Significant progress has also been made in research and development, and the gap with the advanced level of foreign countries is gradually narrowing. In 2003, at the Shanghai International Industry Fair, Tongji University launched my country’s first fuel cell-powered prototype (Beyond One) with a top speed of 105.8km/h, a cruising range of 231km, and an acceleration time of 15.4s from 0 to 80km/h. . On the basis of the Roewe 750, SAIC Motor is equipped with a super fuel cell power system and assembled a Shanghai brand fuel cell vehicle. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 150km/h, a cruising range of 300km, and an acceleration time of 15s per 100km/h.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, fuel cell vehicles such as Beiqi Foton/Tsinghua, Shanghai Volkswagen/Tongji, Changan Zhixiang, and Wuzhoulong conducted demonstration operations. In January 2012, Tongji University took the lead in establishing the "China Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance" with the participation of a number of universities, research institutions and automobile companies, to concentrate the dominant force in the R&D and production of domestic fuel cell vehicles. According to the fuel cell vehicle industry The technological needs of development, cooperative research and independent innovation have promoted the industrialization of fuel cell vehicles in my country.

In September 2014, at the Dalian New Energy Auto Show, the first domestic fuel cell vehicle with a sales license, produced by Great Wall Electric and SAIC Motor, was displayed, with a maximum speed of 150km/h and a cruising range of 500km, marking the country’s fuel cell The car has entered commercialization. However, compared with advanced foreign automobile manufacturers, my country's fuel cell vehicles still lag far behind in terms of reliability, durability, low-temperature starting, and hydrogen supply systems.

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The EU also attaches great importance to the research and development of fuel cell vehicles. In 2001, the European Union launched the "Clean Energy Partnership Program" and allocated 18.5 million euros to support FCB demonstration projects in 10 cities including London. In 2007, the European Union launched the "European Clean City Transport Project" to further support various cities to carry out FCB demonstration operations. In 2009, the European Union approved an action plan for fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology projects, with 470 million euros allocated from the 7th Framework Plan (2007-2012), and continued to fund the research and development of fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure technologies. Due to government support and a large amount of research and development funds, Europe has made rapid progress in the reliability and cost control of fuel cell vehicles.

In 2012, Germany launched a national innovation plan for fuel cell and hydrogen energy. The government and automobile manufacturers jointly supported the research and development of key technologies such as fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen energy. In 2015, Germany has built 50 hydrogen refueling stations in the country, which can provide hydrogen refueling services for 5,000 fuel cell vehicles. In the early 1980s, Mercedes-Benz Motors began the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells, but it was temporarily stopped due to process and technical problems.

In recent years, with the advancement of science and technology, Mercedes-Benz has continued to start the research and development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In 2011, it launched 36 Citaro fuel cell buses, which are used by 20 operators, with a running time of more than 140,000 hours and a trip of more than 220 hours. Million km. In addition, during the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz's B-class fuel cell vehicle also participated in the exhibition, with a cruising range of 400km. In 2015, BMW Motor Company demonstrated a 5-series GT fuel cell vehicle. Its power system is the same as that of the BMW i8 fuel cell vehicle. The maximum output power is 188kW and the cruising range is 483km. However, this model is only a research vehicle and has no mass production plan.

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The level of research and development of fuel cell vehicles in Japan and South Korea is ahead of other countries in the world. The fuel cell vehicles developed by Japan’s Toyota, Nissan Motor Company and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company have surpassed Europe and the United States in terms of durability, service life, and cost. In 2005, Toyota launched the TOYOTA FCHV, which has a cruising range of 560km and can be started normally at -37°C.

In 2014, Toyota launched the FCHV-adv and sold it in the Japanese market. The car has a maximum speed of 160km/h, an inflation time of 3min, and a maximum cruising range of 830km. The price is approximately RMB 376,000. In March 2015, FCHV-adv pre-sold 1,200 vehicles, far exceeding market expectations of 400 vehicles.

The Japanese government attaches great importance to the promotion and use of fuel cell vehicles. The Mirai FCV launched by Toyota in 2015 takes only 3 minutes to fill up with hydrogen and has a cruising range of 650km. It only takes 1-2s to start at 60km/h, and the fuel consumption is approximately RMB 0.66/km. , The car has been enthusiastically praised by government agencies and the business community when it was launched. Japan’s domestic orders reached 1,500 units in just one month. Nissan Motor Co. began research and development of fuel cell vehicles in 1996.

In 2005, Nissan demonstrated the 2005 model of the X-Trail fuel cell vehicle with a maximum power of 90kW and a maximum speed of 150km/h. By equipping the vehicle with a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank, it has developed a vehicle with a maximum cruising range of 500km. Nissan has also invested 85 billion yen in cooperation with Renault Motors to develop fuel cell vehicles. In 2008, Honda Motor Company began to lease and sell FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicles, which can start normally at -30°C and have a cruising range of 620km.

In October 2015, Honda launched a fuel cell vehicle equipped with a 70MPa hydrogen tank, which can be filled with hydrogen in 3 minutes and has a cruising range of more than 700km. Its biggest feature is the miniaturization of the fuel cell stack, and the power output density is 3.1kW/L, reaching the highest level in the world. Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd. of South Korea began to develop fuel cell vehicles in 1998, and was the first automobile manufacturer to achieve significant results in the field of fuel cell vehicle research and development.

In 2000, Hyundai launched the Santa Fe fuel cell vehicle for the first time. In 2006, it assembled 30 sport utility vehicles for demonstration operation using the FC independently developed. With the continuous improvement of the FC stack performance, it was updated. In 2012, Hyundai launched the third-generation SUV-type fuel cell vehicle and conducted global demonstrations.

In 2013, Hyundai built the first fuel cell vehicle production line and realized the first mass production of ix35 FCEV, becoming the world's first automobile manufacturer to mass produce fuel cell vehicles. The ix35 FCEV uses an FC system with an output power of 100kW and is equipped with two 70MPa hydrogen cylinders, which can store 5.63kg of compressed hydrogen gas. It has a range of 594 kilometers and a maximum speed of 160km/h. It can start driving normally below -20°C.

In 2014, Hyundai held an ix35FCEV launch ceremony in California, USA, marking the commercialization of mass-produced fuel cell vehicles in the United States. Currently, Hyundai is preparing to launch a new fuel cell vehicle. The exterior design draws on the ix35. This new SUV has a top speed of 187km/h and a cruising range of 850km, which is expected to replace the ix35.

The research, development and utilization of fuel cell vehicles have always been highly valued. Although the life, cost, and performance of fuel cell vehicles for vehicles need to be further optimized, automobile companies have begun preparations for the industrialization of fuel cell vehicles, and some have even announced that they have entered mass production. stage. It is believed that with the advancement of fuel cell technology and vehicle production technology, as well as the construction and improvement of supporting infrastructure, the industrialization process of fuel cell vehicles will be broader.