Promoting Sustainable Transportation for a Clean Future

November 9, Rugao --- The Second International Fuel Cell Vehicle Congress (FCVC) was held this week in Rugao, Jiangsu province. The goal of the event was to foster collaboration among fuel cell developers, automakers and government organizations for the advancement and application of the Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs), promoting clean-energy based technical solutions to mitigate climate change and progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event was hosted by the International Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association and the society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), while sponsored and supported by the local government and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Tsinghua University, among others. More than 750 industry experts and academics from China and abroad were in attendance.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), similar to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), can play a large role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as transportation is one of the main contributors to global CO2 emissions. Sustainable transport systems can address rising congestion and pollution worldwide, particularly in urban areas. The two types of technologies, FCEV and BEV, complement each other, as battery electric vehicles share many common key components and systems, which can be developed simultaneously but not in competition against each other.

Rugao, the host city for the event, is the UNDP’s first Hydrogen Economy Pilot City. With the support of UNDP’s pilot project, Rugao is expected to develop its own fuel cell/hydrogen industry development road maps. The local government hopes to further explore the potential of hydrogen energy to power the clean development of the city and help mitigate climate change.

In recent years, China has witnessed several firsts in the hydrogen energy sector. “The first commercially operated hydrogen refueling station was built in Foshan, and the first fuel cell production line of 10,000 units per year began operations in Zhangjiakou,” stated Mr. Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China. “Financial resources have been increasingly directed to the hydrogen industry to further stimulate development of fuel cell technologies. Shanghai became the first city to issue its fuel cell vehicle development plan, and will be followed by Beijing and Shengzhen, which are working on promoting fuel cell vehicle applications.”

In China, there are increasing agreements from the public and private sectors on the future outlook of fuel cell vehicles and the applications of hydrogen energy. The technology has been tested and proven, and the priority now is moving forward from the demonstration phase to increasing the volume of hydrogen based applications. Implementing further strategies to increase the number of vehicles in production and operation can create mutually beneficial situations for both manufactures and customers.

UNDP continues to actively promote clean energy solutions in China, and through initiatives such as that in Rugao, hopes to assist in achieving the SDGs, especially # 7, ensuring access to affordable and clean energy, and #13, taking action to combat climate change.

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