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Shanghai unveils “world’s largest” hydrogen refuelling station

Written by Song Jingli Published on   2 mins read

China may have 10,000 fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2020.

SAIC Motor, one of China’s leading automakers, says it has built “the world’s largest” and most advanced hydrogen station in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.

The station, which covers an area of 8,000 square meters, can refuel 20 of SAIC Motor’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for demonstrative purposes. It can also provide commercial refueling services to vehicles made by other manufacturers, with 20,000 tons of hydrogen available each day.

Geely, which is headquartered in Huangzhou, about a 1.5-hour drive away from Shanghai, recently launched a hydrogen fuel cell bus which consumes 7.5 kilograms of hydrogen to travel 100 kilometers.

Experts expected China to put 10,000 fuel cell vehicles on road by 2020, along with 100 hydrogen stations. In March, the government slashed state subsidies for pure electric vehicles by 50%, but only trimmed 20% of subsidies for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

A total of 273 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were sold in China in the first quarter of this year, according to Chinese media outlet Yicai, citing data compiled by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. At the end of 2018, there were only 24 hydrogen stations in the country. Most were used for demonstrative purposes and not put into commercial operation.

At the station’s launch ceremony, SAIC Motor also showed off its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle lineup, including the multiple purpose vehicle model G20 FC and a bus model FCV 80 and a sedan model Roewe 950.

SAIC has a fleet of 400 model FCV 80 buses, which have a dual battery system with lithium and hydrogen fuel cell batteries, serving passengers in Shanghai, Foshan, and Fushun, which is in the Northeastern part of China where it gets very cold. Hydrogen fuel cell batteries are meant to perform well in cold climates, where lithium batteries can fail.

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