Hydrogen vehicles on their way
Hydrogen cars made by Nanjing University are seen on the campus, Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province, May 12, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]
Premier Li Keqiang included the development of hydrogen stations for new energy vehicles for the first time in his Government Work Report this year.
Insiders take this as the government's endorsement of the hydrogen energy economy, believing it is high time that hydrogen, a clean source of fuel that does not result in the release of carbon dioxide, is on track to drive China's development while helping the nation's transition to a clean, low-carbon energy mix.
China has been actively developing hydrogen energy in recent years to make the nation's automobile industry cleaner and more efficient. Many domestic companies have been actively pushing forward their hydrogen industry layout.
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, which has the largest number of gas stations in the country, has been focusing on the construction of hydrogen refueling stations for vehicles in recent years, taking advantage of its extensive network of gas stations nationwide and its chemical by-products. The world's largest refiner has also conducted research on hydrogen fuel cells.
China Energy, which has the largest coal-to-hydrogen production capacity in China and initiated the China National Alliance of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell, has also been promoting low-cost hydrogen production, transportation and the establishment of industry standards covering hydrogen refueling stations.
Domestic automobile companies are actively laying out their hydrogen fuel cell plans, expecting it to become a vital sector in the long term.
Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, one of the country's largest sport utility vehicle and pickup manufacturers, is making hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles a new focus for its business. It has invested more than 1 billion yuan ($149 million) in research and development in hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicles.
Yin Tongyue, chairman of Chery Automobile Co Ltd and a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, proposed at this year's two sessions the drafting of a national development strategy to promote the healthy development of the hydrogen energy industry.
To further develop the hydrogen sector, many insiders from the chemical and automobile sectors have also urged the government to increase investment in areas such as the construction of hydrogen refueling stations to drive the development of the entire industrial chain.
According to the Chinese government's development plan, the country will have 5,000 hydrogen energy vehicles on its roads by 2020, 50,000 by 2025 and 1 million by 2030.
Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, announced plans last year to build a hydrogen energy industrial park in the city to provide a home for more than 100 automakers producing vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells and related businesses, while building up to 20 hydrogen fueling stations by 2020 to support the use of about 3,000 vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Zhangjiakou in Hebei province also said earlier it planned to build 16 hydrogen refueling stations by 2022.
China had about 1,200 fuel cell vehicles on its roads and fewer than 20 hydrogen fueling stations at the end of 2017, ranking behind the United States, Japan, Germany and South Korea, according to the International Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association.
Source：China Daily Editor：Lucky
(Source_title：Hydrogen vehicles on their way)