Why is a hydrogen vehicle also called an electric vehicle?

Published by on 06.07.2021 - 1 min

The reason is simple: the traction of a “hydrogen” car is provided by an electric powertrain fed by electricity stored in the battery. But, unlike a “conventional” electric vehicle, for which the battery is only charged by plugging it into the electrical grid, the “hydrogen” vehicle also incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell (and its hydrogen fuel tanks). Inside the fuel cell, electricity is generated by an electrochemical reaction between dihydrogen (H2) — from the tanks filled by the driver — and dioxygen from the air (O2).

This fuel cell supplements the vehicle’s available electrical energy, thereby acting as a range extender. As a matter of fact, a large majority of hydrogen cars currently on the roads use this double charging system, which consists of the “conventional” electrical grid recharge of a lithium-ion battery — where the driver can benefit from the numerous charging terminals available in public spaces — and refueling at a hydrogen station, where the tank takes just five minutes to fill.