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China Shifts Focus from EVs to Hydrogen-Powered Cars

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Electric vehicle (EV) sales have been thriving on a global level. Particularly in China, thanks to its subsidies and policies that incentivize the adoption of eco-friendly vehicles. In 2018 alone, this country sold more than 1 million battery-powered EVs, leading international sales. Now, the country is shifting its focus to hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Benefits of hydrogen

Often referred to as fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), hydrogen vehicles offer two main advantages over other alternative-energy cars like battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). FCVs boast longer ranges and shorter refueling times, thanks to the efficient chemical processes that power them.  Infrastructure poses a major challenge to hydrogen-fueled vehicle technology, however. As of 2018, China had only 12 hydrogen refueling stations, as Quartz shared.

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Efforts to promote FCVs

China’s goal to boost FCV tech and production comes as no surprise considering its solid EV program it launched a decade ago. Dubbed “Ten Cities, Thousand Vehicles,” the program solidified a blueprint for the entire country to increase EV production. Now, the country is turning its gaze to FCVs.

Three recent developments in China evidence the country’s new focus on hydrogen-powered vehicles. Back in December, Wan Gang, founder of China’s EV roadmap, made a public statement encouraging the country to promote FCV technology. Starting this year, one of China’s largest automakers, First Automobile Work, will mass-produce hydrogen-powered Hongqi vehicles. Lastly, the city of Foshan recently unrolled a plan to build at least 22 hydrogen refueling stations.

If China’s success with EV technology is any indication, then its pursuit of FCV technology should also prove fruitful. Stay tuned for more details in the days ahead as this country implements its new hydrogen-powered vehicle goals.

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News Source: Quartz