MOST to strengthen research on hydrogen and fuel cell technology

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Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced plans to continue to strengthen research and strive for key breakthroughs in hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology, so as to provide strong technical support for the development of China's fuel cell commercial vehicle industry.

The research will be conducted in accordance with the national medium and long-term scientific and technological (S&T) development planning and key national research and development (R&D) programs in the 14th Five Year Plan (2021-25).

MOST made the announcement in responding to a proposal put forward at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress to advance work on fuel cell commercial vehicles at a faster pace. 

Fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology R&D has been a highlight of MOST for a long time. During the 10th Five Year Plan (2001-2005), FCVs, along with pure and hybrid electric vehicles, were the focus of a major electric vehicle project of MOST. 

Endeavors to secure breakthroughs in this regard were constantly made thereafter. During the 13th Five Year Plan (2015-2020), MOST took the lead in organizing the implementation of two key national R&D programs of new energy vehicles as well as renewable energy and hydrogen energy technology. Thirteen projects for vehicles fuel cell technology and 17 projects for renewable energy and hydrogen energy technology have been launched respectively.

According to MOST, thanks to the implementation of the national S&T programs during the past four Five Year Plan periods (2001-2020), China had achieved a series of key technological breakthroughs in stacks, systems and critical components of fuel cells, and formed a R&D system featuring the coordinated efforts of enterprises, universities, research institutions and consumers in promoting hydrogen production, storage and safety and vehicle application. Enterprises engaged in the development and production of fuel cells and key components have also been established.

On top of technical research, MOST also actively advocates the demonstration operation of FCVs. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, fuel cell cars and coaches were used to guide marathon runners and carry athletes to and from venues respectively, signaling the start of the FCV demonstration application. 

By 2020, an accumulative number of 100 fuel cell cars, coaches and logistics vehicles have been put into commercial demonstration use in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Foshan. 

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is cooperating with MOST to work on demonstration and promotion of FCVs in certain areas with financial support, enabling the development of policies meeting market needs and expanding existing industrial bases. Regions achieving good results in this regard will receive awards or subsidies.

Content created in partnership with Science and Technology Daily.

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