With the enhancement of people’s awareness of environmental protection, a consensus has been formed on reducing harmful gas emissions. Many countries and regions have issued relevant policies to control and limit emissions, and put forward the goal of reducing harmful gas emissions after 2020. For example, the EU’s new energy policy stipulates that by 2020 and 2050, harmful gas emissions will be reduced by 25% and 80% compared with 1990. Since the 21st century, with the development of science and technology and the improvement of people’s living standards, the demand for automobiles has increased rapidly. Automobile exhaust has become one of the main sources of air pollution, and it is difficult for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to solve the problems of fuel shortage and reducing pollutant emissions. Therefore, in order to achieve the goal of energy saving and emission reduction, countries around the world are promoting the research and development and application of new energy vehicles, thereby reducing harmful exhaust emissions and reducing air pollution. Among the new energy vehicles, fuel cell vehicles have the characteristics of high energy conversion efficiency and no pollution. They have received extensive attention and are generally considered to be the terminator of new energy vehicles in the future, and have broad development prospects.
A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) is a type of electric vehicle. Its body, powertrain, and control system are basically the same as those of a pure electric vehicle. The main difference is that the power battery is different. 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 (FC) as power sources, and all power loads are borne by fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles have the characteristics of high engine combustion efficiency, zero or near zero emissions, stable operation, and low noise. From the perspective of energy utilization and environmental protection, fuel cell vehicles are an ideal new energy vehicle.
The research and development of fuel cell vehicles began in the 1960s. In 1966, General Motors of the United States manufactured the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which can accommodate two passengers, drive 193km, and reach a speed of 113km/h. The battery life is 1000h. However, due to reasons such as cost, safety factors and hydrogenation facilities, it has not been continuously developed. 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. In 1992, it proposed to apply the fuel cell system to transportation. The research funding of US dollars promotes the development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology, which greatly reduces the production cost of vehicle fuel cells. In terms of vehicle research and development, General Motors began research on the application of fuel cells in vehicles in 1990. The Chevrolet Sequel fuel cell vehicle developed in 2005 has a driving range of 480km and can start at minus 20°C. In October 2001, General Motors launched the “Hydrogen No. 3” liquid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, as shown in Figure 1, with a driving range of 400km, a maximum power of 60kW, 5 passengers, and a maximum speed of 130km/h. During the World Expo, nearly 100 vehicles of this model were in demonstration operation. In 2007, General Motors launched the Project Driveway program to deliver 100 Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles to consumers, with a total mileage of 1.6 million kilometers in 2009. The Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicle manufactured by Ford Motor Company in 2005 has a driving range of 320km. From 2007 to 2008, 115 such vehicles were put into commercial operation in Los Angeles and other cities in the United States. Subsequently, Ford Motor Company launched the third-generation fuel cell vehicle Focus FCVs, which installed the latest fuel cell stack (Mark902) produced by Ballard Power Systems Inc. of Canada, with an output power of 85kW, the highest With a speed of 128km/h, it has been commercialized in many cities in the United States, Canada, Germany and other countries. In 2007, Ford Motor Company, Ohio State University, Ballard Power Systems, Canada, and Roush Racing jointly produced the world’s fastest fuel cell vehicle, Fusion Hydrogen999, with a top speed of 207km/h.
The EU also attaches great importance to the research and development of fuel cell vehicles. In 2001, the “Clean Energy Partnership Program” was launched, with an allocation of 18.5 million euros to support fuel cell vehicle demonstration projects in 10 cities including London. In 2007, the “European Clean Urban Transport Project” was launched. , to further support the demonstration operation of fuel cell vehicles in various cities. In 2009, the EU approved the Action Plan for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Technology Projects, and allocated 470 million euros from the 7th Framework Plan (2007-2012) to continue funding the research and development of fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure technologies. Thanks to government support and a lot of R&D funding, Europe has made rapid progress in fuel cell vehicle reliability and cost control. In 2012, Germany launched a national innovation plan for fuel cells and hydrogen energy. The government and automobile manufacturers jointly support the research and development of key technologies such as fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen energy. Hydrogen refueling service. In the early 1980s, Mercedes-Benz started the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells, but it was stopped due to process and technical problems. With the advancement of science and technology, Mercedes-Benz continued to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and launched 36 Citaro fuel cell buses in 2011, used by 20 operators, with a running time of more than 140,000 hours and a journey of over 2.2 million km. In addition, during the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show, the B-class fuel cell vehicle launched by Mercedes-Benz participated in the exhibition, and its driving range reached 400km. In 2017, Mercedes-Benz released the GLC F-Cell fuel cell vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show, as shown in Figure 2. It is Mercedes-Benz’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with a maximum driving range of more than 400km. It will be put into production at the end of 2017. In 2015, BMW showed the 5 Series GT fuel cell vehicle, as shown in Figure 3, the maximum output power of its power system is 188kw, and the driving range is as high as 483km.
In Asia, the research and development level of fuel cell vehicles in Japan and South Korea is ahead of other countries in the world. Japan’s Toyota, Nissan Motor Company and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company’s fuel cell vehicles have surpassed Europe and the United States in terms of durability, service life and cost. In 2005, the TOYOTA fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) launched by Toyota has a driving range of 560km and can start normally at minus 37°C. In 2014, Toyota Motor Corporation launched the FCHV-adv and sold it in the Japanese market. The car has a maximum speed of 160km/h, a charging (hydrogen) time of only 3 minutes, and a maximum driving range of 830km. By March 2015, 1,200 vehicles were sold. Far exceeding the market expectation of 400 vehicles. The Japanese government attaches great importance to the promotion of fuel cell vehicles. The Mirai FCVs launched by Toyota in 2014, as shown in Figure 4, only takes 3 minutes to fill up with hydrogen, the driving range is 650km, and it only takes 1-2 seconds to start to 60km per hour. In 2016, Mirai FCVs became the most popular hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the market with 2039 registrations, accounting for 88% of the market. Nissan Motor Company started the research and development of fuel cell vehicles in 1996. In 2005, Nissan showed the 2005 X-Trail FCVs with a maximum power of 90kw and a maximum speed of 150km/h. By equipping the vehicle with a high-pressure hydrogen storage tank of 70MPa, A vehicle with a maximum driving range of 500km has been developed. Nissan Motor Co. has also invested 85 billion yen in research and development of FCVs in partnership with Renault Motors. In 2008, Honda Motor Company began to sell FCX Clarity FCVs, which can start normally at minus 30°C and have a driving range of 620 km. In October 2015, Honda Motor Company launched a fuel cell vehicle equipped with a 70MPa hydrogen tank, which can be used in 3 minutes. It is full of hydrogen and has a driving range of more than 700km. The biggest feature of this car is the miniaturization of the fuel cell stack, and the power output density is 3.1kW/L, reaching the current highest level in the world.
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company began to develop fuel cell vehicles in 1998, and was the first automobile manufacturer to achieve remarkable results in the field of fuel cell vehicle research and development. In 2000, Hyundai launched the Santa Fe fuel cell model for the first time, and in 2006, 30 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) were assembled with self-developed fuel cells for demonstration operation. With the continuous improvement and upgrading of the performance of the fuel cell stack, in 2012, Hyundai launched the third-generation SUV fuel cell vehicle and conducted a global demonstration. In 2013, Hyundai built its first fuel cell vehicle production line and realized the first mass production of the ix35 FCEV. As shown in Figure 5, Hyundai became the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle manufacturer. In 2014, Hyundai held the launch ceremony of the ix35 FCEV in California, the United States, marking the commercialization of mass-produced fuel cell vehicles in the United States.
Although China’s fuel cell vehicle research and development started relatively late, with the support of the national “Tenth Five-Year Plan”, “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” and “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” and major projects of the 863 plan and 973 plan, major progress has been made in research and development, and the Advanced level gap. In 2003, Tongji University launched China’s first fuel cell-powered prototype vehicle (Chaoyue No. 1) at the Shanghai International Industry Fair, with a top speed of 105.8km/h, a driving range of 231km, and an acceleration time of 15.4s from 0 to 80km/h. . On the basis of the Roewe 750, SAIC Motor assembles a Shanghai brand fuel cell vehicle equipped with a fuel cell power system beyond. As shown in Figure 6, the vehicle has a maximum speed of 150 km/h, a driving range of 300 km, and an acceleration time of 15s per 100 km/h. During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, fuel cell vehicles such as Beiqi Foton, Shanghai Volkswagen, Changan Zhixiang, and Wuzhoulong conducted demonstration operations. At the Beijing Olympics, the single-vehicle mileage of Passat fuel cell models reached 520km, these demonstration projects show that China’s fuel cell vehicle technology has made significant progress. In January 2012, Tongji University led the establishment of the “China Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance” with the participation of a number of universities, research institutions and automobile enterprises. Demand, cooperative research, and independent innovation have promoted the industrialization of China’s fuel cell vehicles. In September 2014, the Dalian New Energy Automobile Exhibition displayed the first domestic fuel cell vehicle model which was jointly produced by Great Wall Electric and SAIC, with a maximum speed of 150km/h and a driving range of 500km. into commercialization. However, compared with foreign advanced automobile manufacturers, China’s fuel cell vehicles still have a big gap in reliability, durability, low temperature starting and hydrogen supply systems.