燃料电池车卷土重来,全仗政府法规

上网时间: 2013年07月16日? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:氢燃料车? 电动车? 燃料电池车?

Why Hydrogen Cars Are Suddenly Back in Vogue

Junko Yoshida

MADISON, Wis. — GM and Honda announced today (July 2) that they will join forces to develop a common hydrogen powertrain -- fuel cells and hydrogen tanks -- for fuel cell vehicles. Their goal is to get those new fuel cell cars ready by 2020.

Unlike electric vehicles (EVs) which use electric power stored in large lithium-ion packs, hydrogen cars use the electricity source generated by fuel cells in the electro-chemical reaction of hydrogen and air. A fuel-cell car's only tailpipe emission is water vapor.

Despite this technology's obvious advantages over EVs (better range, faster fueling time), the automotive industry has a history of on-again off-again love affairs with fuel cells. Car manufacturers and market analysts tend to blame the slow progress of fuel cell car development on the absence of a network of hydrogen refueling stations, each estimated to cost $1 million to $2 million.

But setting the infrastructure issue aside, why suddenly are we seeing a flurry of renewed hydrogen activity?

Two words: government regulations.

In 2004, when the market research firm ABI Research made a radical downward revision in its forecast for fuel cell cars, the firm's then director of energy research, Atakan Ozbek, predicted that the industry would not begin real growth without clearer government commitments at both national and local levels.

The automotive companies today know that later this decade they must meet much stricter CO2 regulations set by governments in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Along with the fuel-cell revival, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-powered vehicles are part of the push to meet the same regulations. Clearly, no company is putting all its eggs in one basket.

Honda claims that its FCX Clarity FCEV is much more efficient than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles in converting chemical energy into power.

In revealing the alliance with GM, Honda president Takanobu Ito said, "Among all zero-CO2 emission technologies, fuel-cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars."

Similarly, GM CEO Dan Akerson said in his statement, "We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology." Akerson added that such vehicles can help curb petroleum dependence and underpin sustainable mobility.

The two companies also made it clear that they will work together by jointly lobbying for an expanded network of hydrogen fuel stations. Those that exist in the United States are currently clustered mainly in California.

Shared technologies with EVs

Another key element encouraging auto companies to take a second look at fuel-cell cars is that some of the technologies already developed for their battery-electric cars can be shared with fuel-cell cars. Industry experts point out that fuel-cell vehicles share similar electric motors to power the wheels, brakes that capture power when stopping, software, and related electronics.

GM and Honda are both considered pioneers in fuel-cell technology, armed with a large number of patents in the field. However, their competitors have already jumped on the fuel-cell bandwagon earlier this year. Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG in January set up a fuel-cell production alliance. Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. also in January said they would jointly develop a line of affordable fuel-cell electric cars for sale as early as 2017.

GM and Honda pointed out that the development of a common system for fuel-cell vehicles is critical because the cost of development remains too high. It's expensive partly because fuel-cell stacks require platinum. On-board storage of gaseous hydrogen -- which requires carbon fiber storage tanks -- is also complex.

The alliance between the largest US automaker and Honda includes: exchanging engineers, joint use of research facilities, shared sourcing of parts and materials, and "a complete sharing of all our respective intellectual properties on the subject," according to the two companies. Despite their stated goal to make fuel-cell cars more affordable, they declined to elaborate either on the expected price for fuel-cell vehicles or the amount of their investment.

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  • 什么是燃料电池车?
  • 燃料电池汽车是电动汽车的一种,其电池的能量是通过氢气和氧气的化学作用,而不是经过燃烧,直接变成电能或的。燃料电池的化学反应过程不会产生有害产物,因此燃料电池车辆是无污染汽车,燃料电池的能量转换效率比内燃机要高2~3倍,因此从能源的利用和环境保护方面,燃料电池汽车是一种理想的车辆。

  • 什么是电动车
  • 电动车就是以电力为驱动、以电力为能源的车子。电动车按类型分可分为:电动自行车、电动摩托车、电动汽车、电动三轮车,燃油助力两用电动车。

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