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Extensive hydrogen, fuel-cell battery supply chain enables Taiwan to work with global players

Annabelle Shu, Taipei; Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: DIGITIMES

The development of battery and fuel-cell EVs and their supply chain has been expedited in recent years. According to the Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC) in Taiwan, the country has seen its hydrogen supply chain grow to become more comprehensive and is poised to collaborate with global industry players.

ARTC said that Taiwan focuses on building infrastructure to produce and store hydrogen power, and the country has also set up several regulations. For example, the National Development Council said last year that it was working on enacting hydrogen-dedicated laws. The Ministry of Economic Affairs listed fuel cells in the Energy Administration Act earlier this year and announced regulations regarding the establishment of hydrogen refueling stations.

Taiwan has developed fuel-cell two-wheelers and has a comprehensive hydrogen and fuel-cell battery supply chain. The industry will gain more advantages and opportunities if the local hydrogen market can expand quickly.

According to ARTC, major fuel-cell EV models include Hyundai Motor's Nexo and Toyota's Mirai. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, China-based SAIC and GAC are also developing fuel-cell passenger EVs.

Taiwan-based Hotai Motor and industrial gas manufacturer Linde LienHwa have said fuel-cell vehicles will likely be commercialized first in the commercial segment. ARTC explained that battery trucks and other large commercial vehicles' performance will be restricted as longer driving ranges require bigger and heavier batteries.

International automakers have transitioned their focus on fuel-cell EVs to commercial vehicles since 2020. For instance, Stellantis has put fuel-cell batteries into cars based on its EMP2 platform. Isuzu and Hyundai have also been developing large commercial vehicles powered by fuel cells.

ARTC said it takes time for BEVs to charge. Moreover, the size and weight of batteries also make BEVs more suitable for short-distance drives. Fuel-cell EVs can handle long-distance and long-time drives well. Logistics trucks, boats and ships, airplanes, and buses would be the ideal adopters of fuel-cells or fuel-cell hybrid technologies.