Electric vs. Fuel Cell Cars: Which One Is The Future of Green Motoring?

Read this guide to learn more about the differences between electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars and to find out which one will come out on top as the future of green motoring.

The transport sector is one of the largest contributors to climate emissions. The eco-minded drivers of today are now seeking greener motoring alternatives. Driven by consumer demand, the car manufacturing industry is working hard to develop greener transport alternatives to the combustion engine car. Two new types of cars – electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars – have come out as a possible way to achieve zero-emissions transport worldwide.

Electric Cars

Electric vehicles (or EVs for short) are powered by an electric motor instead of a combustion engine. Rather than using fuel, EVs use electricity. This means that they do not produce any emissions. Currently, EVs make up just 1 – 3% of all passenger cars but ownership is expected to rise to 30% by the year 2030.

Pros of Electric Cars:

  • They produce little or no local air pollution
  • They reduce our dependence on petroleum
  • They are much cheaper to purchase than hydrogen fuel cell cars

Cons of Electric Cars:

  • Large-scale infrastructure change will be required for EVs to go mainstream
  • It takes a long time to charge the battery
  • The production of lithium-ion batteries is very energy-intensive
  • They are more expensive to purchase than combustion-engine cars
  • “Range anxiety” i.e. drivers’ fear of being stranded when the battery runs out


Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

Hydrogen fuel cell cars run on a battery that is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Electricity is generated by combining stored hydrogen with oxygen from the air and the only emission is water. Due to high production costs and technical complexity, these cars have yet to enter the market in any real way. However, industry experts believe that this technology could be “the real breakthrough for electric mobility”.

Pros of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars:

  • Will require no infrastructure change as they are refuelled in the same way as combustion-engine cars
  • Take minutes to refuel
  • The only emission is water
  • Excellent battery range

Cons of Electric Cars:

  • The production process is energy-intensive and produces a lot of pollution
  • They are very expensive
  • They will be expensive to refuel 


Find Out More

If you would like to learn more about the future of sustainable motoring, then you should read this infographic from First Aid Wheels. This interesting guide compares electric and fuel cell cars under a number of headings including emissions, costs and infrastructure needs.

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