Lifecycle performance assessment of fuel cell/battery electric vehicles

Jenn Jiang Hwang, Jenn Kun Kuo, Wei Wu, Wei Ru Chang, Chih Hong Lin, Song En Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


This paper has performed an assessment of lifecycle (as known as well-to-wheels, WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption of a fuel cell vehicle (FCV). The simulation tool MATLAB/Simulink is employed to examine the real-time behaviors of an FCV, which are used to determine the energy efficiency and the fuel economy of the FCV. Then, the GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) model is used to analyze the fuel-cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions for hydrogen fuels. Three potential pathways of hydrogen production for FCV application are examined, namely, steam reforming of natural gas, water electrolysis using grid electricity, and water electrolysis using photovoltaic (PV) electricity, respectively. Results show that the FCV has the maximum system efficiency of 60%, which occurs at about 25% of the maximum net system power. In addition, the FCVs fueled with PV electrolysis hydrogen could reduce about 99.2% energy consumption and 46.6% GHG emissions as compared to the conventional gasoline vehicles (GVs). However, the lifecycle energy consumption and GHG emissions of the FCVs fueled with grid-electrolysis hydrogen are 35% and 52.8% respectively higher than those of the conventional GVs. As compared to the grid-based battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the FCVs fueled with reforming hydrogen from natural gas are about 79.0% and 66.4% in the lifecycle energy consumption and GHG emissions, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3433-3446
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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