New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China


Chinese government designates plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs or FCVs), which use hydrogen power, as new energy vehicles (NEVs). China, which has the largest auto market in the world by far (23 million sales annually vs 17 million in the U.S.), also has the largest market for NEVs in the world.
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, they also started the push for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, probably in anticipation of one of the unstated problems of EV manufacturing in the future: the bottleneck of metal supplies, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel etc. Hydrogen supply, on the other hand, is unlimited, and offers the following advantage:

Fuel cells and fuel cell vehicles offer four major benefits as well as four specific advantages for China. The major benefits of fuel cell technology are:

  • high energy conversion efficiency (some fuel cells types reach 60 percent);
  • suitability for distributed power generation;
  • near-zero emissions, including CO2; and
  • ability to utilize a variety of fuel sources (e.g. natural gas, gasified coal, renewables, industrial hydrogen, and water electrolysis).

A fuel cell vehicle is superior to an electric battery vehicle because batteries have short lives, require frequent recharging and contain heavy metals that can cause serious environmental contamination if not managed properly. For China, developing fuel cell vehicles would be like using one stone to kill four birds. The specific advantages of FCVs for China include enhanced energy security, greater industrial competitiveness, improved urban air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

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So it's not surprising that China is cutting subsidies for the maturing EV industry while moving toward hydrogen power:

China to cut subsidies for EVs and move towards hydrogen
China has announced it will cut subsidies to electric vehicles (EVs) and focus on developing other clean mobility alternatives such as hydrogen.

The country, which has the largest EV market in the world, made the announcement on its
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reporting that the government subsidy for pure battery electric cars with a driving range of 400 kilometers (250 miles) and above will be cut by half, to 25,000 yuan (£2,800) per vehicle from 50,000 yuan.

Electric cars must now have a range of at least 250 miles to qualify for any subsidy.

It’s hoped the shift will encourage alternatives such as hydrogen fuel cell cars, which have a longer range than plug-in electrics.

Hydrogen has the highest specific energy density of any non-nuclear power source and is the most abundant element in the universe. Proponents say it is inexhaustible and can be created using many sources, including surplus grid power, bio plants and emission-free intermittent renewables.

However, there are arguments that it is unsafe and difficult to store.

Despite this shift towards hydrogen, China’s EV market is not expected to slow down with the country still expected to produce 20 million EVs next year.

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reported last week that China hopes to have 5,000 hydrogen energy vehicles on its roads by 2020, 50,000 by 2025 and 1 million by 2030.

It will require a massive jump as by the end of 2017, the country had only 1,200 on its roads and fewer than 20 refuelling stations across the whole country, ranking behind the United States, Japan, Germany and South Korea, according to the International Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association.

China’s protectionist economy means the large majority of vehicles are manufactured within the country.

One of the countries largest sports car and pick-up manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, recently invested more than 1 billion yuan (£114m) into hydrogen energy and fuel cell research and development.

Greenpeace recently praised China’s work in tackling air pollution as average PM2.5 concentrations of cities in the country fell by 12% between 2017 and 2018.

The famously polluted city of Beijing has now reduced its pollution sufficiently to drop to being the 122nd most polluted city in the world.

The UK market has been dominated by EVs and hybrids, and currently, there is just one hydrogen fuel-cell car, the Toyota Mirai, available to purchase.

Last year, Shell added a hydrogen fuel refuelling point at their busy M40 station, and the Met Police announced they would be adding 200 hydrogen-powered cars to their fleet.

Also, the £4m Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC) opened which will develop new UK-based sources of hydrogen and fuel cell energy.
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China's installed capacity of hydrogen fuel cells soars sixfold in first seven months
Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-01 22:02:10|Editor: Li Xia

BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's installed capacity of hydrogen fuel cells surged 642.6 percent year-on-year to 45,876.9 kilowatts in the first seven months of this year despite a subsidy withdrawal from the new energy vehicles (NEVs) sector, according to industry data.

The output and sales of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles soared 8.8 times and 10.1 times to hit 1,176 and 1,106 units, respectively, the Power Battery Application Branch of China Industrial Association of Power Sources (CIAPS) said in a report.

The hydrogen fuel cells are still mainly used for powering buses and special purpose vehicles instead of passenger cars, due to the high cost and a lack of technical support facilities such as hydrogen stations, the report said.

China has toughened policies for subsidizing the purchases of new energy vehicles (NEVs) this year to push for the sector's high-quality development.

After a three-month transition period ended on June 25, local governments have stopped subsidizing purchases of NEVs other than new energy buses and fuel cell vehicles and used the funds to improve charging facilities and other supporting services.

Following the news, the sector has ended its rapid growth and saw its first year-on-year decrease in years. The NEVs output and sales were down 6.9 percent and 4.7 percent respectively in June compared with the same period last year.

Noting that the new energy buses and fuel cell vehicles are exempted from the subsidy withdrawal, analysts from CIAPS expected the full-year installed capacity of the hydrogen fuel cells to see a substantial increase compared with last year.

"As the sector is still in the preliminary stage and hydrogen fuel cells are considered a significant alternative energy source in the long term, government support will probably persist for a long time," a CIAPS analyst said.

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China wants 1 million FCEVs on their roads by 2030
The Chinese government is aiming to get a million fuel cell vehicles on the roads by 2030 and is backing up this ambition with massive subsidies – at least in some parts of the country.

This year, buyers in 17 provinces will receive subsidies of up to 160,000 yuan (around 20,300 euros) per fuel cell car or up to 400,000 yuan (50,800 euros) for commercial fuel cell vehicles, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. Local authorities in ten cities are also awarding subsidies of up to 4 million yuan (508,300 euros) for the construction of each hydrogen filling station.

At the end of last year, only 1,791 fuel cell vehicles were registered in China. According to the South China Morning Post, the government has set an interim target of 50,000 FCEVs for 2025. Thus the government assumes a relatively moderate growth until 2025 and thereafter a rapid increase in FC registrations – 950,000 vehicles in five years.

Analysts believe a leap in new FC registrations is feasible. “FCEVs are currently at a similar stage of development to electric vehicles in 2013 and 2014, when the entire supply chain experienced explosive growth thanks to a top-down government process,” TF Securities said in an April announcement.

According to a China Hydrogen Alliance white paper published at the end of June on the development of the fuel cell industry, China aims to halve the cost of fuel cell systems to 4,000 yuan per kilowatt by 2025 – around 500 euros.

The Chinese government’s policies will help FCVs increase the overall number of zero-emission vehicles on the road since fuel cell vehicles have different advantages to purely battery-electric vehicles. With China’s keen eye on finite resources, they too have recognised that an optimum use of both technologies means that the overall use of limited resources is diversified. For example, fuel cell systems do not require cobalt or anywhere near as much lithium (since they are also electric), and the higher density of power makes fuel cell especially suitable for public transit and heavy-duty use where longer driving range and shorter refuelling time. Needless to say, both technologies are obviously cleaner than combustion engines, and the combination of both is essential in creating enough overall zero-emission energy to transition the transport sector.

“When you think about a bus – do you want it to carry more batteries or passengers?” said Alfred Wong, the Asia-Pacific managing director of Canada-based fuel cell technology developer Ballard Power Systems, on the advantages of using FCVs in public transit.

“Once we get the cost of heavy-duty vehicles down, we can address the lighter vehicles market, starting with the vehicles the ride-sharing applications enabled for smartphones, that require long driving range and short refuelling time,” he said.

That there is an increasingly clear tendency to use fuel cell for heavy-duty and long haul purposes is also visible in Europe. Just this week, long-haul passenger bus company, Flixbus announced it was
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, and US fuel cell truck pioneers Nikola just won
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from CNH Industrial with whom they are also planning to set up a European joint venture.

Of course, there is money to be made in the rapidly expanding market for fuel cell vehicles, and China obviously does not want to leave the promising field of fuel cell technology to Japan, the USA or Europe. With regard to FCEV, China is now stepping up to the goals set by
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But a larger picture is also emerging internationally: hydrogen is proving to have other economic advantages – namely in domestic and industrial power applications. In
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, for example, a wider range of applications are being considered, especially related to using hydrogen in the natural gas network for urban heating.

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from the Netherlands in March this year surmised that this lack of a holistic hydrogen infrastructure is holding back the proliferation of FCEV on Chinese roads: “The storage and delivery part of China’s hydrogen value chain is still weak and hindering the roll-out of hydrogen refuelling stations.” Presumably this is the another reason for the fairly large government subsidies for refuelling stations mentioned above.

Japan and
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have formulated similarly ambitious targets for FCEV. Japan is targeting 200,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2025 and 800,000 by 2030. In California, 37,400 FCEVs are to be on the road by 2023, by 2030 one million as in China. So far, though, South Korea is has made the most identifiable comittment to a hydrogen economy: the home country of Hyundai-Kia wants to have 1.8 million FCEVs on the road by 2030 – at the end of last year only 900 fuel cell vehicles were registered there.
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Hydrogen fuel cell needs platinum for catalyst, not exactly a cheap nor plentiful resource

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The catalyst mentioned on the page seems referring to chemical reactions in general, not the catalytic converter used in the exhaust system on vehicles. Since fuel cell vehicles do not produce polluting emissions, I'm not sure if catalytic converter is even needed.


Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Moderator - World Affairs
The catalyst mentioned on the page seems referring to chemical reactions in general, not the catalytic converter used in the exhaust system on vehicles. Since fuel cell vehicles do not produce polluting emissions, I'm not sure if catalytic converter is even needed.

A catalyst is something that initiated a chemical reaction. A catalytic converter in internal combustion engine vehicles is used to convert some nasty chemical in the exhaust to something more benign. In hydrogen fuel cells case, the platinum is initiating the chemical reaction of hydrogen combining with oxygen in the air without burning and convert the energy released in the process into electricity.

That’s just my layman’s understanding


The recent coup in Bolivia is a prime example why the West's support for "freedom and democracy" is such a joke. On the surface, the multinationals advocate "free market" and oppose "government subsidies". Covertly, they conspire with their government and intel service to dispose governments of resource-rich developing countries, if these governments don't approve their exploitative dealings. Then they will sneak in to sign deals to steal those resources, under the guise of a so-called "democratic interim" government, which in truth, is just a puppet government that serves the interests of western multinationals. The recent events in Bolivia is a textbook example:

China’s links with Morales figure in Bolivia coup

Bolivian president Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.

Over the past 13 years, Morales has tried to build a different relationship between his country and its resources. He has not wanted the resources to benefit the transnational mining corporations, but rather to benefit his own population. Part of that promise was met as Bolivia’s poverty rate has declined, and as Bolivia’s population was able to improve its social indicators. Nationalization of resources combined with the use of its income to fund social development has played a role. However, the attitude of the Morales government toward the transnationals produced a harsh response from them, many of them taking Bolivia to court.

Over the course of the past few years, Bolivia has struggled to raise investment to develop the lithium reserves in a way that brings the wealth back into the country for its people. Morales’ vice-president, Álvaro García Linera, had said that lithium was the “fuel that will feed the world.” But Bolivia was unable to make deals with Western transnational corporations; it decided to partner with Chinese companies. This made the Morales government vulnerable. It had walked into the new cold war between the West and China. The coup against Morales cannot be understood without a glance at this clash.

Clash with transnational companies
When Evo Morales and the Movement for Socialism took power in 2006, the government immediately sought to undo decades of theft by transnational mining companies. Morales’ government seized several of the mining operations of the most powerful corporations, such as Glencore, Jindal Steel & Power, Anglo-Argentine Pan American Energy, and South American Silver (now TriMetals Mining). It sent a message that business as usual was not going to continue.

Nonetheless, these large companies continued their operations – based on older contracts – in some areas of the country. For example, the Canadian transnational South American Silver had created a company in 2003 – before Morales came to power – to exploit the Malku Khota mine for silver and indium (a rare-earth metal used in flat-screen televisions). South American Silver then began to extend its reach into its concessions. The land that it claimed was inhabited by indigenous Bolivians, who argued that the company was destroying its sacred spaces as well as promoting an atmosphere of violence.

On August 1, 2012, the Morales government – by Supreme Decree No 1308 – annulled the contract with South American Silver (TriMetals Mining), which then sought international arbitration and compensation. The government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – as part of a
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on behalf of Canadian mining companies in South America – put an immense amount of pressure on Bolivia. In August this year, TriMetals struck a deal with the Bolivian government for US$25.8 million in compensation, about a tenth of what it had earlier demanded.

Jindal Steel, an Indian transnational corporation, had an old contract to extract iron ore from Bolivia’s El Mutún mine, a contract that was put on hold by the Morales government in 2007. In July 2012, Jindal Steel terminated the contract and sought international arbitration and compensation for its investment. In 2014, it won $22.5 million from Bolivia in a ruling from Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce. In another case against Bolivia, Jindal Steel demanded $100 million in compensation.

The Morales government seized three facilities from the Swiss-based transnational mining company Glencore; these included a tin and zinc mine as well as two smelters. The mine’s expropriation took place after Glencore’s subsidiary clashed violently with miners.

Most aggressively, Pan American sued the Bolivian government for $1.5 billion for the expropriation of the Anglo-Argentinian company’s stake in natural-gas producer Chaco by the state. Bolivia settled for $357 million in 2014.

The scale of these payouts is enormous. It was
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in 2014 that the public and private payments made for nationalization of these key sectors amounted to at least $1.9 billion (Bolivia’s gross domestic product was at that time $28 billion).

In 2014, even the Financial Times
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that Morales’ strategy was not entirely inappropriate. “Proof of the success of Morales’s economic model is that since coming to power he
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while ramping up record foreign reserves.”

Bolivia’s key reserves are in lithium, which is essential for the electric car. Bolivia claims to have 70% of the world’s lithium reserves, mostly in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. The complexity of the mining and processing has meant that Bolivia has not been able to develop the lithium industry on its own. It requires capital, and it requires expertise.

The salt flat is about 3,600 meters above sea level, and it receives high rainfall. This makes it difficult to use sun-based evaporation. Such simpler solutions are available to Chile’s Atacama Desert and in Argentina’s Hombre Muerto. More technical solutions are needed for Bolivia, which means that more investment is needed.

The nationalization policy of the Morales government and the geographical complexity of Salar de Uyuni chased away several transnational mining companies. Eramet (France), FMC (United States) and Posco (South Korea) could not make deals with Bolivia, so they now operate in Argentina.

Morales made it clear that any development of the lithium had to be done with Bolivia’s Comibol, its national mining company, and Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB), its national lithium company, as equal partners.

Last year, Germany’s ACI Systems agreed to a deal with Bolivia, but after protests from residents in the Salar de Uyuni region, Morales canceled that deal on November 4, 2019.

Chinese companies including TBEA Group and China Machinery Engineering made deals with YLB. It was being said that China’s Tianqi Lithium Group, which operates in Argentina, was also going to make a deal with YLB. Chinese investors and the Bolivian lithium company were experimenting with new ways to mine the lithium and share the profits. The idea that there might be a new social compact for the lithium was unacceptable to the main transnational mining companies.

Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnationals. He had to go.

After the coup, Tesla’s stock rose astronomically.

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China already has their own fuel cell system integrator. I think China will master the core technologies of fuel cell stack earlier rather than later, unlike the situation with Intel and Taiwan.

'Toyota Inside' strategy kicks off in China with fuel cells
Japan's top automaker hopes to replicate Intel's success

SHUNSUKE TABETA, Nikkei staff writer December 23, 2019 01:26 JST

Fuel cell buses with Toyota components are scheduled to begin operation in Changshu. (photo from local TV news report)

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has begun supplying key components for fuel cell vehicles to other companies in China, seeking to emulate the way Intel came to dominate the microprocessor business as Taiwanese players built personal computers using its chips.

Components being provided by the Japanese automaker include fuel cell stacks, which generate electricity through the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

Toyota is supplying stacks that it manufactures in Japan to a Chinese system integrator that combines these with other parts to produce fuel cell systems. Chinese commercial-vehicle makers that partner with Toyota will use these systems to build buses.

Twenty of these fuel cell buses are scheduled to begin operation this coming January in the coastal city of Changshu, running on a key route that serves the city government office. The city hopes to showcase its vision of driving China's fuel cell vehicle industry with Toyota technologies.

Toyota's strategy mirrors Intel's business model in the 1990s, when the U.S. company standardized PC motherboards and supplied them to Taiwanese players. This "Intel Inside" campaign helped to popularize PCs and promoted the adoption of Intel processors.

Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle in 2014, but it has not sold as well in Japan as anticipated. The Chinese government intends to use buses to promote fuel cell vehicles, which it positions as a pillar of environmentally friendly "new-energy vehicles," after electric vehicles.

The auto industry is experiencing a once-in-a-century turning point. In China, which accounts for half of the global market for green vehicles, it has become common practice for newly established manufacturers to outsource production. Increasingly, brands and the companies that actually make the products are different, just as with PCs and smartphones. And the rise of ride-hailing has accelerated the shift away from car ownership.

Toyota's insistence on building finished vehicles had kept it from supplying components to others until now. It is taking the first step away from this business model in China, where the auto industry is undergoing rapid change.

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Registered Member
Interesting, I tough that this fuel cell hype died decade ago.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not a primary energy source.
And it is one of the most dangerous energy carrier, it explode between 5-95% concentration in air (not burn, explode )

And to make it worst , it is next to impossible to store, in cryogenic form (-253 Celsius !!!! 20 kelvin !!!!! ) it has 71kg/cubic meter density.

If someone making hydrogen then it makes more sense to synthesise petrol with it,using tar/bitumen as feedstock.

And hydrogen source can be high temperature realtor, like molten salt one, with sulfur–iodine cycle.