Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-2263
2019-12-19

Fuel Cell Vehicles: An Opportunity for China's Greenhouse Gas Reduction 2019-01-2263

Fuel cell vehicle and battery electric vehicle are two environmentally benign vehicle technology types possibly meeting the zero-emission regulations in the future. The premise is they can achieve parity with conventional vehicle both environmentally and economically. Besides, it is necessary to distinguish which technology is more suitable in China's current and future context. This paper compares their cost-effectiveness for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, examining the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of conventional gasoline vehicle, battery electric vehicle and fuel cell vehicle in China's energy context under three different scenarios. The results indicate that under the 500km drive range, fuel cell vehicles are less competitive than battery electric vehicles currently. Fuel cell vehicles generate much more greenhouse gas emissions than battery vehicles and conventional gasoline vehicles. While with the optimization of energy context, fuel cell vehicles can gain competitiveness with battery electric vehicles in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and with mass production as well as fuel cell system cost reduction, fuel cell vehicles can realize a better cost-effectiveness. Based on this analysis, it is recommended that the energy context should be optimized before deploying the fuel cell vehicles on a large scale in China. Technology enhancement both in hydrogen production and fuel cell, as well as manufacture optimization for fuel cell systems are equally essential in improving its cost-effectiveness.

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