Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Developing Slowly When Can We Cross The Critical Point?

- Sep 19, 2019-

Regarding the development of pure electric vehicles, Chen Qingtai, chairman of the China Electric Vehicles 100-member Association, has a judgment for the industry to talk about. He believes that the development of pure electric vehicles will cross a critical point, that is, the cost performance of pure electric vehicles will reach and exceed that of fuel vehicles. Crossing this ridge, pure electric vehicles can rely on market forces to develop independently. Chen Qingtai judged that this critical point is around 2025.

In fact, the cost performance of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is often compared with pure electric vehicles. When does the cost of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles reach and exceed that of electric vehicles? To overcome this critical point, for the entire hydrogen fuel cell industry chain, the difficulty is no less than the 1981 hard test of the Tang Yi mentoring team.

Hydrogen fuel cell industrialization cuts from commercial vehicles

"Our hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, vehicle integration technology is not blank, key components, key materials in the laboratory is no worse than foreign countries, the difference is how to jump from the laboratory to industrialization." Tongji University professor Zhang Tong believes that domestic It has the basic conditions for developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and the gap with international advanced enterprises lies in industrialization. Similarly, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles must be industrialized in order to cross the critical point.

Professor Zhang Tong has been engaged in the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells for many years. He admits that the industrialization of hydrogen fuel cells is a very difficult process and a process of great headache, patience and capital investment. In the next few years, pure electric vehicles will encounter bottlenecks in charging facilities, which is an opportunity for hydrogen fuel vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can quickly complement the advantages of pure electric vehicles. The hydrogen fuel cell industry can also have a Very good start.

The threshold of commercial vehicles is low, and it is easy to promote industrialization. The industrialization of commercial vehicles in turn promotes the development of passenger vehicles. Therefore, in terms of vehicle development, based on the experience of pure electric and hybrid power, hydrogen fuel cells can be cut from commercial vehicles and then followed by passenger cars.

Yutong Bus, a typical commercial vehicle company in China, started to develop fuel cell buses in 2009. After years of hard work, it completed the development of three generations of fuel cell buses and obtained qualifications for fuel cell commercial vehicle certification and hydrogen system installation. In addition, Futian Ouhui fuel cell bus, Zhongzhi fuel cell bus, etc. have also made great progress.

Internationally, many companies have tackled heavy trucks. For example, Nikola-One proposed the concept of fuel cell and closed-drive heavy truck tractors, which promoted the development of fuel cell trucks internationally. Japan's Hino trucks use MIRAI's two powertrains. Toyota also launched a 30-ton eight-class truck in the US. Ballard is also doing similar trucks.

Fuel cell cost challenge

Ouyang Minggao, executive vice president of the China Electric Vehicle Centennial Association and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that in 2020, the energy density of China's power battery cells will reach 300 watt-hours/kg, the specific power will reach 1000 watt-hours/kg, and the cycle will be more than 1,000 times. The cost is less than 0.8 yuan / watt hour; from 2020 to 2025, the energy density of power battery cells can be increased from 300 watt-hours / kg to 400 watt-hours / kg, and the cost per watt hour is reduced from 0.8 yuan to 0.6. Within the yuan.

Whether the cost of hydrogen fuel cells can reach this level, first ask a question mark here. After all, there are many challenges in the hydrogen fuel cell industry chain, such as cost challenges in reactors, on-board hydrogen systems, fuel cell systems, complete vehicles, hydrogen, and hydrogen station construction and operations.

Regarding the cost of the fuel cell system, Professor Li Jianqiu of Tsinghua University calculated an account: If by 2020, according to the output of 200,000 sets/year, the cost of the fuel cell system is about 7,000 US dollars (about 40,000 yuan), meeting the Euro VI. The traditional engine that emits is probably this price. In addition to the fuel cell system, there are hydrogen storage, battery, gearbox and drive system, the entire power system is about 15,000 US dollars, plus 10,000 US dollars of accessories and other costs, the whole vehicle is about 26,000 US dollars (about 15 to 200,000 yuan), equivalent to the price of a traditional internal combustion engine B-class car. Of course, there is a premise here that the market demand for 200,000 sets of hydrogen fuel cell engines will be formed in 2020. So, can we form such a large market demand? This depends on the production plan of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle enterprise and the occupation of pure electric vehicles on the market.

Li Feiqiang, deputy director of Yutong Bus Group Co., Ltd. and the National Electric Bus Electronic Control and Safety Engineering Technology Research Center, believes that according to the planning of the National Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap, with the localization of key materials and key components. With large-scale, the cost of complete vehicles will be greatly reduced in 2030, and the operating cost of hydrogen fuel cell buses is expected to be lower than that of pure electric buses.

In 2017, the hydrogen fuel cell industry was hailed by capital, and the entire hydrogen fuel cell industry was gearing up, and the industrial chain layout was improving. The pain point of hydrogen fuel cells is cost. The only way to reduce costs is to expand production scale. The scale of production is closely related to market demand, and market demand and cost interact with each other. this is the truth.

Will the 2030 meeting be the critical point for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to exceed the cost of pure electric vehicles? What do you think?