What Is The Status Of Fuel Cell Passenger Cars?

- Dec 07, 2019-

Fuel cell passenger car status


Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai, three established car manufacturers, made early inroads into the field of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. At present, the three companies are considered to have some accomplishments. They all have certain core technologies independently developed, and their respective mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell models occupy the hydrogen energy vehicle market that is still in its infancy. Took a considerable share.


In terms of technology, all three have their own technical highlights. Toyota has always been the number one player in the field of hydrogen fuel cells. After more than ten years of optimization, Toyota's fuel cell stack has formed its own unique structural features. The power generation efficiency has reached 3.1 kilowatts / liter. Its 3D three-dimensional microchannel technology By better discharging by-product water and allowing more air to flow in, the power generation efficiency has been effectively improved. In addition, Toyota also used a fuel cell stack plus nickel-metal hydride battery hybrid design on Mirai. This design makes Toyota Mirai have a relatively good performance in energy supply, kinetic energy recovery and energy conversion rate.


Hyundai's research on hydrogen-fueled cars is no less than that of Toyota. As early as 1998, Hyundai Motor established the Mabei New Energy Technology Research Institute for the development of fuel cell technology. In 2013, with the launch of the ix35FCV, Hyundai Motor became the first car company in the world to achieve mass production of hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars. The latest Nexo has a maximum output of 120 kilowatts, which is slightly higher than the 113 kilowatts of the Toyota Mirai. However, its proud 5-minute hydrogenation still has not exceeded Toyota's 3-minute hydrogenation time. It is worth mentioning that under the severe low temperature environment of -30 , Nexo can still start normally and stably, and NEXO got a five-star score in the latest test of E-NCAP in Europe. In addition, the highly integrated power system provides more space for Nexo, which is also a highlight.


In fact, the world's first officially recognized fuel cell car was made by Honda. In 2002, Honda leased and sold its fuel cell model called FCX in California and Japan. Although Honda Clarity was listed later than Toyota, missed the most advantageous time to market, and the market performance was average, this car's 130KW fuel cell / electric drive system was selected by the authoritative American magazine "Ward'sAutoWorld" for 2018 Ward's top ten engines ranked sixth.


In terms of market performance, taking the US market where all three vehicles have been listed as an example, the total capacity of hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars in the US market in 2018 was about 2332, which was basically the same as the previous year. Among them, Toyota Mirai delivered 1,700 units, a year-on-year decrease of 7.5%. Honda Clarity delivered 624 units, an increase of 44.8% from the 431 units of the previous year. The delivery volume of Hyundai Nexo was only 8 because Hyundai Nexo completed its first delivery in the US market in December 2018, but less than three months after its listing in South Korea, the order volume exceeded 1,000 

orders. From the perspective of sales in the US market, hydrogen fueled vehicles do not seem to show the expected explosive trend.


In terms of price, Toyota Mirai is sold in Japan for 7.2 million yen, or about 440,000 yuan; Honda Clarity is sold in Japan for 7.66 million yen, or about 470,000 yuan; Hyundai Nexo in the United States It sells for about $ 60,000, or about RMB 410,000. Although the state will give a certain subsidy after entering the Chinese market, but there are so many choices for this price model, it is difficult for consumers to have the courage to try a hydrogen fueled car.


In the Chinese market, all three companies have taken action. At present, Toyota is adjusting its promotion strategy for hydrogen fuel cell technology. During the recent Shanghai Auto Show in 2019, Toyota's head, Akio Toyoda, personally visited China and flew to Beijing to sign strategic cooperation with Beiqi Foton and Yihuatong. During this time, he also gave a speech at Tsinghua University. And the latter established a joint research institute. Not long ago, Li Renzhe, deputy president of the Korea Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd. and head of the business division, revealed in Chengdu that the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will be produced in Sichuan. At the same time, in order to accelerate the realization of a future hydrogen energy society based on hydrogen energy, Hyundai Motor also established a hydrogen energy fund with Tsinghua University Beijing Tsinghua Industrial Development Research Institute to further promote the research and development capabilities of hydrogen energy related innovative technologies in China and South Korea. Honda's actions seem more obvious. As early as 2018, from the information displayed on the trademark website of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Honda has completed the trademark registration of the hydrogen fuel car CLARITY.


Bottleneck of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development


Compared with fuel vehicles and electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have obvious advantages on some levels, such as zero emissions, long cruising range, and replenishment time periods. In addition, the characteristics of hydrogen as a fuel also bring innate advantages to hydrogen fueled cars. The mass energy density of hydrogen is as high as 143 MJ / kg, which is 3.3 times that of gasoline and 133 times that of ternary lithium battery cells. But at this stage, hydrogen fueled vehicles are facing many technical and development bottlenecks.