Chinese Official Who Championed EVs Sees Great Future For Fuel Cell Vehicles

China’s former minister of science and technology, Wan Gang, is calling for the world’s largest auto market to embrace hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the very same way it did EVs.

Wan is known as the father of China’s ongoing electric car movement after he convinced the country’s ruling party two decades ago to bet on vehicle electrification, arguing that doing so would boost economic growth and tackle the country’s dependence on oil imports and its increasing levels of pollution.

During a rare interview with Chinese media, Wan, who is now a vice-chairman of China’s national advisory board for policy making, said the country needs to now embrace fuel-cell vehicles.

Also Read: China’s Electric Vehicle Startup Bubble Could Soon Burst

“We should look into establishing a hydrogen society. We need to move further toward fuel cells,” he said, the South China Morning Post reports.

China is home to roughly 50 per cent of all electric vehicles sold globally, and while it intends on phasing out its generous subsidies for many of these EVs, Wan says they will likely stay in place to some extent for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Currently, there are only about 1500 hydrogen vehicles in China but Wan believes that in the future, fuel-cells could power buses and trucks for long-distance travel while inner-city traffic will be dominated by electric cars.

While hydrogen-powered vehicles have promise, high costs, lack of infrastructure and the complexity of storing hydrogen has seen them fall out of favor among major car manufacturers. Wan, however, is confident China can make them work: “We will sort out the factors that have been hindering the development of fuel-cell vehicles.”

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  • EyalN

    If the chinse communist party decides that the people will drive Fuel Cell Vehicles, the people will drive Fuel Cell Vehicles.

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  • Dustin

    “…has seen them fall out of favor among major car manufacturers.” Carscoops adds this sort of line to every one of its hydrogen articles. Yet GM, Hyundai, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda are all long-term hydrogen proponents. Interesting stat: Hyundai USA currently sells 2 EV and 1 FCEV. Honda of America currently sells 1 EV and 1 FCEV.

    China is such an important market to the manufacturers, it would have a major impact if that country starts the push. If China builds the infrastructure, the cars will come quickly, as all the major manufacturers already have them in development.

  • D3X

    FCEV is a much more viable solution compared to BEV, there’s no charge times, no battery management, disposal or replacement, manufacturing problems. The only issue is the Fuel itself, which at the moment is expensive to produce. that’s where China comes in, with their population and adoption this will drive the volume it needs to go mainstream. BEVs are still a solution, but I believe FCEV is the true future of electric cars.

    • Mike anonymous

      I 100% Agree, although personally I believe there will be many kinds of advanced EVs in the future (not exactly BEVs) but things such as WaterPowered EVs’ and (as you’ve stated) FCEVs, and other things we have yet to think of just yet. You and I @disqus_lKsuSOW7ZJ:disqus have seen each other around this site in the past and typically we have a great amount of things we’ve agreed on (of the general interaction on this site).
      If your interested, I’d suggest taking a look into Nano Flow Cell technology, (again) if your interested. I believe it could be a great replacement for BEVs’ going forwards, and may come with greater ease to produce in comparison to even FCEVs’.

      I think the biggest hurdle is getting this ‘fuel’ to the customers, but as you’ve said there are many people leading the way, so it’s less and if,.. and more so possibly; a when.

      • D3X

        I have done a deep dive into NanoFlowCell in the past. You mentioning reminded me of this technology, which I’m afraid is a hoax.

        Nunzio Le Vecchia the owner and inventor of NanoFlowCell is a convicted fraud con artist, and has claimed to have invented similar technologies with no formal training and a bought PhD title: a solar cell capable of 50 percent efficiency , faked a number of demonstrations. He had a number of lawsuits against him of con jobs and which he’s owning millions of dollars.

        NanoFlowCell despite have working prototypes and claimed new releases of success with the technology, til this day nobody has seen what’s under the hood of those vehicles, probably never will.

  • Super Rob

    He came to the realization that we can’t manufacture enough batteries for the whole world to be driving EV’s. They should have gone the hybrid route and cut their vehicle pollution in half. The tech they develop for hybrids translates right into EV”s. Then when the battery breakthrough comes we would be ahead of the game.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    This is great news honestly, as anyone really have knowledge about the whole matter will say the same

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