Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicles

Created By: Jannat Gill

Fuel Source

Fuel cell-powered vehicles are fueled with pure hydrogen gas, that is stored directly in the vehicle. The vehicles can be fueled with pure hydrogen and they emit no pollutants, only water and heat. Hydrogen can be produced using a wide variety of resources here, in the United States. Some resources may include biological material, natural gas, and even water. The availability is limited to areas with hydrogen fueling stations . Hydrogen fueling gas stations are mostly in California.

How Does it Work?

Fuel cell electric vehicles use electricity to power a motor that is located close to the vehicle's wheels. They produce their primary electricity by using a fuel cell that is powered by hydrogen. The heart of a fuel cell-powered vehicle is the fuel cell stack. The fuel cell stack converts stored hydrogen gas with oxygen from the air into electricity. This powers the electric motor of the vehicle.

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-Has the potential to reduce our dependence on oil

-Has the potential to lower emissions that contribute to climate change

-Minimizes pollution

-Emits no harmful tailpipe emissions

-Helps to reduce consumers' fuel cost

-Reduces our dependence on other countries for fuel

-It would increase U.S. energy security

-It would strengthen our economy


-They are expensive
-Availability is limited to areas with hydrogen fueling stations, mostly in California
-Needs twice the amount of hydrogen to travel the same distance that it could travel with gasoline as its fuel

-Fuel cell systems are not yet as durable as internal combustion engines, especially in some temperature and humidity ranges

-Several challenges must be dealt with before FCVs will be a successful, competitive alternative for consumers

Current Availability

There are not many fuel cell powered vehicles on sale. The ones that are available for purchase, are expensive. Car makers must lower costs, especially for the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage, for FCVs to compete with conventional vehicles.

Some Models of FCVs

2002 Daimler Chrysler's Necar 5: It completed the first transcontinental journey of a fuel cell powered vehicle.

2005 Honda FCX Clarity: A fuel-cell car, certified for road driving by the federal government. It costs about $1 million. The prototype was about $3 million.

2017 Honda FCX Clarity: It will be released next year. It will drive better than ever, and the car makers will try to decrease the price significantly from before.