What are hybrid cars and fuel cell cars?

New energy cars refer to the use of unconventional car fuels as the power source (or the use of conventional car fuels, the use of new on-board power devices), the integration of advanced technologies in car power control and driving, and the formation of advanced technical principles and Cars with new technologies and new structures. Let’s talk about hybrid cars and fuel cell cars.

① Hybrid cars
Pure electric cars driven entirely by batteries have long been cost-effective than traditional internal-combustion cars and are difficult to compete with traditional cars. Since the 1990s, all major automobile companies in the world have begun to develop hybrid cars. , Japan’s Toyota took the lead in launching the Prius hybrid car to the market in 1997, and has achieved greater success in the markets of Japan, the United States and European countries, with cumulative production and sales exceeding 600,000 cars. Subsequently, Japanese Honda, American Ford, General Motors and some large European companies have also launched various types of hybrid cars to the market.

What are hybrid cars and fuel cell cars?
Hybrid cars

Ordinary hybrid cars are those that use conventional fuels and are equipped with batteries and electric motors to improve low-speed power output and fuel consumption. According to the degree of mixing (that is, the ratio of motor power to engine power or the ratio of electricity to fuel), hybrid cars can be divided into micro-mixing, light-mixing, medium-mixing, and strong-mixing. The advantages of ordinary hybrid cars are:

(1) After adopting hybrid power, the maximum power of the engine can be determined according to the average required power. At this time, it is working under the optimal working condition with low fuel consumption and low pollution. When high power is needed (the engine power is insufficient), the battery is supplemented; when the load is small, the surplus power can be generated to charge the battery, that is, the engine can continue to work, and the battery can be continuously charged.
(2) Because of the battery, the energy during braking, downhill, and idling can be recovered conveniently and reused as electrical energy, thereby reducing energy waste.
(3) In prosperous urban areas, the engine can be shut down and driven by the battery alone to achieve “zero” emissions.
(4) It can easily solve the problems encountered by pure electric cars such as air-conditioning, heating, defrosting, etc., which consume large amounts of energy.

The disadvantage is: long-distance and high-speed driving basically cannot save fuel. Because there are two sets of power, coupled with two sets of power management and control systems, the structure is complicated, the technology is more difficult, and the price is higher.

Ordinary hybrid cars use the surplus power of the engine to charge the battery without external power supply. Although the energy-saving effect is obvious, it does not fundamentally get rid of the problem of oil resource consumption by transportation. Therefore, ordinary hybrid cars are a transitional technology in a period of time in the development of electric cars.

Ordinary hybrid cars have the most mature technology among the current new energy cars and have been successfully commercialized. Because they do not require charging, the convenience of ordinary hybrid cars is the best among new energy cars. At present, the comprehensive cost of ordinary hybrid cars is higher than that of fuel cars, so it will seriously affect the development of ordinary hybrid cars.

The plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) developed in recent years is a new type of hybrid car. The battery is charged by an external charging power source. After charging, the battery can be used as an electric car to drive. In addition, after the remaining power of the battery is used up, it is not switched to the engine driving mode, but the generator is driven by the engine, and the generated electricity is used to charge the battery and continue to drive the car with the electric motor. Plug-in hybrid electric cars are closer to pure electric cars, and to a certain extent solve the problems of short cruising range of pure electric cars and the need for timely charging. Even when driving to places without charging facilities, it can be used as a general hybrid car.

The technology of plug-in hybrid electric cars is relatively mature. However, the convenience of plug-in hybrid electric cars is not as good as that of fuel cars, but it is worse than pure electric cars, and basically reaches the acceptable range of users. In the near future, plug-in hybrid cars are likely to become the fastest-growing new energy cars.

②Fuel cell cars
Fuel cell electric cars refer to cars that use hydrogen, methanol, etc. as fuel, generate electricity through chemical reactions, and rely on electric motors to drive them. The working principle of a fuel cell electric car is that the hydrogen used as a fuel chemically reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere in the fuel cell of the car, thereby generating electricity to be supplied to the electric motor to drive the car. The chemical reaction process of fuel cells does not produce harmful products. Therefore, fuel cell electric cars are pollution-free cars. The energy conversion efficiency of fuel cells is 2 to 3 times higher than that of internal combustion engines. Therefore, from the perspective of energy utilization and environmental protection, fuel cells Technology is the best alternative to internal combustion engine technology, and fuel cell electric cars represent the future development direction of electric cars.

What are hybrid cars and fuel cell cars?
Fuel cell cars

At this stage, many key fuel cell technologies are still in the R&D test stage. In addition, hydrogen, the ideal fuel for fuel cells, has a large number of technical and economic problems to be solved in terms of preparation, supply, storage and transportation. Therefore, fuel cell electric cars do not yet have the conditions for commercialization at present and for some time to come.

The most optimistic prediction is that the commercial production of fuel cell cars using pure hydrogen as fuel will take at least 15 years.