Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Tobias Brunner, Great Wall Motor’ s vice president revealed in his speech at the 2017SAE-China Congress and Exhibition that the automaker has been working on XEV program. XEV stands for different kinds of new energy and the automaker carries out the development work on PHEV, BEV and FCEV at the same time. At the Frankfurt Auto Show, Great Wall unveiled its PHEV models while BEV and FCEV are the following development projects.
Up to now, Great Wall has established its own R&D team to conduct independent study on the core technologies for electrically driven battery and fuel cell. The company will partner with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to further expand business.
According to Brunner, Great Wall thinks FCEV is the future trend for the industry and three reasons may explain its preference. In the first place, FCEV’s range is at the same level as fuel-powered vehicles and has advantages over electric vehicles limited by current battery technology. FCEV offers more convenience because it is much faster for vehicles to supplement the fuel than to charge.
Secondly, compared with electric vehicles, full cell boasts many advantages on the overall performance, endurance, fuel cost (including usage cost and supplement cost) and emission.
The third reason is the fact that our country hasn’t made full use of our wind power generation, which can be used to make hydrogen. Brunner said by 2025, the usage cost, reliability and endurance of FCEV will meet the requirements for commercial use.
There is no doubt that FCEV also has some drawbacks at present. The first one is the infrastructure. As FCEV has similar range with the traditional fuel-powered vehicles, the hydrogen refueling stations can have similar layout as current gas stations. Brunner said that Great Wall is conducting research on the infrastructure, the making and storage of hydrogen fuel. If daily hydrogen usage is around 2,000 kilograms, liquid hydrogen will have advantages in hydrogen refueling station and the manufacturing of storage equipment. As a result, liquid hydrogen will be the main research field.
XEV will develop a common platform for new energy vehicles and FCEVs. In the future, the automaker’s pure electric vehicle and FCEV will come from this platform. According to its plan, the company will unveil its first FCEV product in 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics period.
At the end of last month, Great Wall announced its plan to acquire 3.5 percent shares of Pilbara Minerals, an Australian emerging lithium and tantalum producer.
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