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Shanghai plans to boost development of fuel cell cars in next few years

Shanghai set to build 5-10 hydrogen refueling stations and launch 3,000 vehicles, including fuel cell buses and logistics vehicles, by 2020

Shanghai is planning to boost development of fuel cell cars in the next few years, the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said today.

Fuel cell cars are zero-emission vehicles which mainly use oxygen from the air and compressed hydrogen to generate electricity and power the motor. Hydrogen can serve as the fuel to be added into the car when refueling is required.

Shanghai this month released a development plan on the city's fuel cell cars, while the country's fossil fuel car sales may be ending. Xinhua news agency said earlier that China is mulling a ban on the sales of cars that run on fossil fuels, which was seen as a push for alternative-energy cars.

Under the guideline, Shanghai is set to build 5-10 hydrogen refueling stations and launch 3,000 vehicles, including fuel cell buses and logistics vehicles, by 2020. It also expects to attract more than 100 enterprises related to the fuel cell vehicle industry and establish a research and development center, with the annual economic output of the fuel cell industry reaching 15 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion). The number of hydrogen refueling stations will be raised to 50 five years later, when at least 20,000 passenger cars and 10,000 cars for special use are put into operation. By 2025, the demo zones for fuel cell passenger cars will expand from two single zones, with the annual economic output of Shanghai’s fuel cell industry expected to reach 100 billion yuan.

The fuel cell car technology and manufacturing is likely to catch up with overseas level by 2030 and the local fuel cell car industry will form a network covering the whole country. The city hopes to achieve an annual economic output of 300 billion yuan for whole industry chain of fuel cell vehicles, and hopes to further promote the fuel cell vehicles to the public.

"So far we had mainly three types of alternative-energy cars. Besides the fuel cell cars, we also had electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles," said Gan Pin, deputy director of the commission. But compared with the electric cars, which are installed with rechargeable batteries, the fuel cell cars will work better for long distance traveling.

Shanghai now has one hydrogen refueling station in Jiading District, which was established in 2006 and considered the first nationwide. The district is also planning for another five stations in the following three years, one in a countryside park in Jiading and the rest in other districts of the city.

Shanghai has advantages and resources in the fuel cell vehicle sector, with over 30 enterprises focusing on research and development, manufacturing of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles. 


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