Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: Recent Advances and Challenges 2000-05-0001
The growing concerns on environmental protection have been constantly demanding cleaner and more energy efficient vehicles without compromising any conveniences provided by the conventional vehicles. The recent significant advances in proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology have shown the possibility of developing such vehicles powered by fuel cells. Several prototype fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) have been already developed by several major automotive manufactures, and all of the favorable features have been demonstrated in the public roads. FCEV is essentially a zero emission vehicle and allows to overcome the range limitation of the current battery electric vehicles. Being motivated by the laboratory and field demonstrations of the fuel cell technologies, variety of fuel cell alliances between fuel cell developers, automotive manufactures, petroleum companies and government agencies have been formed to expedite the realization of commercially viable FCEV. However, there still remain major issues that need to be overcome before it can be fully accepted by consumers. This paper describes the current fuel cell vehicle development status and the staggering challenges for the successful introduction of consumer acceptable FCEVs.