There are four types of electric cars available in the four-wheeled vehicle market today. Starting from hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV), to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).
FCEV uses a system similar to BEV. However, there are several important factors that differentiate FCEV from BEV.
In a BEV, electricity is stored in the car’s battery. But in FCEV, the electricity used to drive the car is generated from chemical processes in the fuel cell. FCEV uses hydrogen as an energy source to generate electricity from the fuel cell system.
Interestingly, the FCEV produces pure water or H2O in the process generating electricity to propel the vehicle. In terms of charging, FCEV takes much shorter time than BEV. It only takes about 4 minutes with a distance of up to 400 kilometers.
BEV requires a longer charging time by using charging equipment connected to a wall outlet. Generally, the charging time takes more than 6 hours.
While the FCEV, the power is obtained from pure hydrogen gas stored in a tank on the car. This is what makes the FCEV charging time not long, even almost the same as when refueling a conventional car.
Then, FCEVs are also usually embedded with various technologies to increase the efficiency of electricity use.
For example, a regenerative braking system that can store the energy used when braking is done, to then be stored in the battery.
Until now, the choice of FCEV is still very limited. But in the future, there may be developments along with the development of supporting infrastructure for FCEV.