Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Hydrogen vehicles in China: Replacing the Western Model

Source: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 42, Issue 51, 21 December 2017, Pages 30179-30185, Accepted 12 October 2017, Available online 3 November 2017.


  • Kevin Kendall, Michaela Kendall (University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK)
  • Bo Liang (Guangzhou University of Technology, Megacentre, Guangzhou, China)
  • Zhixiang Liuc (Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Co. Ltd & Foshan University, Foshan, China)


  • New results for Energy consumption of hydrogen fuel cell buses in China.
  • Integration of new hydrogen bus results with previous results and theory.
  • Description of rapid recent progress of hydrogen bus programme in Foshan.


China is increasing its combustion vehicle numbers rapidly along a Western Model, with high emissions, high energy usage and low utilisation. These characteristics cause severe health, energy and congestion problems that could get five times worse over the next 50 years as the Chinese population buys many more western-type vehicles.

This paper describes the steps being taken now in China to avoid the blight caused by combustion vehicles in western cities. In particular, the world's largest hydrogen-fuel-cell-battery (HFCB) bus project is now being implemented in Foshan city by a coalition of government and commercial companies. This project takes advantage of the subsidies offered by both central and local administrations, which have proved successful for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) but have not yet been so popular for hydrogen based machines, mainly because hydrogen infrastructure is not yet installed. Other Foshan PEMFC (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell) hydrogen projects such as UAVs are also described.

Since 2008 when the first hydrogen filling station was created at University of Birmingham, to refuel a fleet of 5 HFCB taxis, there has been little progress in the UK because car corporations have not prioritised zero emission vehicles. China has the unique opportunity to leap-frog the Western Model and provides a more democratic solution based on the success of the less polluting electric scooter, where China leads the world by a huge margin. China can do this because it has a strong government, the desire for infrastructure investment, plus rapidly growing vehicle companies in an expanding market. This paper describes the results of experiments on new hydrogen vehicles in Foshan City, including the biggest hydrogen fuel cells bus project in China at the present time. It does not comprehensively cover other Chinese cities and vehicle companies working on hydrogen.

Read more at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319917340491