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Hydrogen fuel cell will be the mainstream VS Lithium battery in the future?

hydrogen fuel cell vs lithium battery

At present, the battery supply of electric vehicles is mainly concentrated in lithium batteries. Will the energy supply system of the future car be a lithium battery or a hydrogen fuel cell?

Point of view one: Hydrogen fuel cells are ‘incredibly stupid’!

In fact, Compared with batteries, the energy conversion efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells is always lower than that of batteries.

Fuel cell development continues, but charging infrastructure, mass production of hydrogen and its inventories are lagging. The use of hydrogen requires extensive infrastructure construction, high quality and large accumulators. The production of fuel cells, pressure tanks (carbon fiber), the price of hydrogen for refueling, the required hydrogen refueling station infrastructure and the construction of H2 production facilities all appear prohibitively expensive.

Point two: “The market of the future belongs to fuel cells”

Toyota has been betting on hydrogen fuel cells on battery electric vehicles for years to achieve its zero-emission vehicle strategy. The Toyota fuel hydrogen cell is like a power station. It produces electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. It does not need to be charged like a normal storage battery. It only needs to add hydrogen to generate electricity through a chemical reaction.

The battery life advantage of hydrogen fuel cells is also obvious compared to lithium batteries. It also has a battery life of 500 kilometers. It takes a long time to charge a normal lithium battery, and it takes an hour and a half to charge a super fast charge. A hydrogen dye battery can be filled with hydrogen in just 3 minutes. . In addition, in terms of energy density, hydrogen also far exceeds that of lithium ions, and the two are not even on the same order of magnitude.

Fuel cell vehicles are another important direction for electric vehicle batteries. Compared with lithium-ion batteries, it can be clearly seen that there are obvious advantages and disadvantages between the two.

#1-From a Security Perspective.

battery safe

The safety hazards of fuel cells: the leakage and control of hydrogen belongs to the physical level, while the safety hazards of lithium-ion batteries mainly come from the chemical level. In terms of controllability, lithium-ion batteries are more difficult to control than fuel cells.

#2-From the Perspective of Low Temperature Performance.

cold

Because the viscosity of the electrolyte increases at a low temperature and the conductivity decreases, the polarization internal resistance of the battery will increase sharply, and the lithium battery needs external heat supply to solve the low temperature problem. The low temperature starting performance of the fuel cell is poor, but with the increase of its own heat release after starting, the temperature of the stack will quickly stabilize within the normal operating temperature range of 80-90 °C.

#3-It Is From the Perspective of Cost.

cost

Generally speaking, whether it is a fuel cell or a lithium-ion battery, the price is higher than that of traditional energy. In particular, the source, storage, and safe use of hydrogen are complex and harsh, resulting in the high cost of hydrogen fuel cells, making it difficult to gain advantages in the short term. Judging from the mass production data, the cost of lithium batteries will eventually exceed 1,000 yuan/kwh; as far as the current technology is concerned, the cost of fuel cells is still very high.

#4-The Time It Takes to Charge.

time it takes to charge.

The lengthy charging time has always been an indelible pain point for lithium-ion batteries. In normal charging mode, a car with a lithium-ion battery will take 3 to 8 hours to fully charge. In contrast, fuel cells are much more convenient and faster. Taking hydrogen fuel cells as an example, it only takes 3 to 5 minutes to fill up directly with hydrogen.

#5-The Cruising Range.

cruising range. 1

It is difficult for traditional lithium-ion batteries to exceed 500km in cruising range. In contrast, fuel cells with high energy density and lighter weight can reach farther in cruising range.

From the above analysis, hydrogen fuel cells have both advantages and disadvantages. Whether they can be commercialized on a large scale in the future depends on the progress of science and technology. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to use low-cost and clean fuel cells.

Carl Zhang

Carl Zhang

I am a senior sales with 15 years in the battery industry and a bachelor's degree in economics.
I will be sharing some of my expertise on batteries and my insights into the battery industry in my blog, which should help you with your purchases in China.

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