GAC Unveils First Fuel Cell Contender

Chinese automaker GAC has unveiled its first hydrogen fuel cell concept as it hedges its bets in the EV market.

The move opens up the prospect of the carmaker exploiting some markets that look set on being dominated by hydrogen energy rather than battery such as Japan and South Korea. At its Tech Day 2020, GAC debuted its first hydrogen fuel-cell passenger car, the Aion LX Fuel Cell.

The vehicle is developed on the GAC electric platform (GEP) 2.0 platform and employs a hydrogen fuel-cell system independently developed also by the GAC Group. The automaker says it has “prioritized climate conversation as a strategy and are focusing on hydrogen-based clean energy, known as the “ultimate energy” of the 21st century”.

GAC’s hydrogen system claims to solve several problems of current renewable energy vehicles. Firstly, it only takes less than five minutes to recharge each time, much shorter than the charging time of most BEVs. Secondly, its claimed NEDC operating range exceeds 400 miles and, thirdly, the car also claims to resolve the problem of ignition and operation in low-temperature weather. At -30°C, a one-button cold start can be enabled without the need of an external heat source which would have compromised cruising range.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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