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New energy vehicles are accelerating to substitute for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) and fossil oil. Although most literature acknowledges this trend, few compare two specific substitutable paths in terms of the operation system, namely electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). This paper makes a comparative analysis of EVs and HFCVs in power sources, fuel storage and transportation, fuel supply infrastructure construction, and the cost and use of vehicles. Our findings indicate that electric passenger vehicles have more advantages in economy, safety, and environmental impact, in comparison with hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicles. Nevertheless, great efforts should still be made to develop advanced rapid charging technology, shorten charging time, and accelerate charging infrastructure construction. Then, it is just around the corner for EVs to gradually take over from traditional motor vehicles driven by oil. In contrast, popularizing hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicles faces several insurmountable obstacles in the short run, such as the high hydrogen production price, complicated storage process, and expensive hydrogen refueling station infrastructure. However, hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles have unique application scenarios. The dislocation and complementarity principle in different scenarios of EVs and HFCVs is supposed to be firmly grasped. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Wenyue Zhang, Xingming Fang, Chuanwang Sun. The alternative path for fossil oil: Electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? Journal of environmental management. 2023 Sep 01;341:118019

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PMID: 37178543

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