UNDP: Accelerating the Development and Commercialisation of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China

By March 30, 2019 3   min read  (446 words)

March 30, 2019 |


It has been 15 years since UNDP China began promoting hydrogen-based clean energy solutions, staring from 2003 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). What began as a small demonstration pilot, has now been scaled across multiple cities.

The programme contributed to a series of nationwide progress in the industry, including pushing for national, regional and local policies and strategic plans, building a knowledge sharing network and platform, pushing for industrial standards, successful operations demonstration, and building a platform for technical capacity development.

The country now has 4 industrial clusters, policy incentives or development plan in place in 11 provinces and cities, 33 publicly-listed companies on the production chain, and over 41 auto makers that have set up Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) assembly lines.

Current progress:


Technological improvement:

·      lifetime of FCV stacks is now 5 times long as it was during Phase I

·      dramatic unit cost reduction has been achieved through implementation of the project with one FC bus at around USD 1.8 million in 2003 and now around 0.5-0.7 million in 2018, achieving at least around 62% reduction.

Policy improvement:

·      A Technology Roadmap for Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicles was published by the Chinese Government;

·      FCV have been reflected into other strategies such as “Made in China 2025”

·      China’s Innovation Action Plan for Energy Technology Revolution (2016-2030)

·      “Action Plan to Combat Pollution Caused by Diesel Trucks” endorsed by 11 Ministry and Commission level Chinese government agencies

The project has also financed the 2 International Fuel Cell Vehicle Congresses – participants totaled 500 in Beijing in 2016, and 1,200 in Rugao in 2017; the 3rd Congress is expecting to attract 2,500 participants in 2018, including government officials/NGOs, academics, journalists, world leading FC developers, and FCV manufacturers.

In addition to the five project pilot cities, other cities, such as Zhangjiakou, Changshu and Rugao have been attracted to join the Project as new pilot cities. The project has great potential for further up-scaling as there are more and more cities and private sector companies (i.e. Toyota) interested in participating in the DevCom FCV Project.

By 2020, the number of FCVs from co-financing is expected to reach 1,000, going far beyond the target of 100, as designed in the ProDoc. The Yangtze Delta Hydrogen Corridor is the first ever trans-provincial and cross-regional plan for hydrogen energy infrastructure construction in China. It significantly promotes China’s infrastructure construction and accumulates experience for future development. Its success stories and the lessons learned have been shared across China. The project has also gained media coverage and enhanced visibility, with featured articles on mainstream media platforms such as China DailyThe Southern Weekly and The Toutiao (“Headlines”).

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