‘Electric Vehicles vs Hydrogen Vehicles’ in the Era of High Oil Prices What’s Your Choice? [우리가 몰랐던 과학 이야기] (241)

Electric car charging, illustration.

The popularity of electric vehicles is increasing day by day as the trend of high oil prices continues and environmental regulations in each country for carbon neutrality continue. Previously, when choosing a car, gasoline, diesel, and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) were considered. Now, more and more people are thinking about adding hybrids or electric vehicles to this.

After electric vehicles, hydrogen cars are emerging as future eco-friendly vehicles. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, 3 out of 10 cars sold in Korea in March were eco-friendly cars. It is said that 22,747 hybrids, 13,656 electric vehicles, 1936 plug-in hybrids, and 445 hydrogen cars were sold, respectively. Overall, it is said to be an increase of 26.8% compared to the same month last year.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles and hydrogen cars, which are emerging as eco-friendly vehicles.

◆Hydrogen and electric vehicles both run on electricity!


Both electric vehicles and hydrogen cars drive the electric energy stored in the battery to the motor. Electric vehicles are charged by receiving electric energy from the outside. Unlike electric vehicles, hydrogen cars can generate electricity on their own.

Hydrogen cars are attracting attention as eco-friendly vehicles that do not have to worry about greenhouse gases or harmful substances because they are equipped with a fuel cell that generates electricity by combining hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) and emits only pure water (H2O).

Hydrogen cars have longer mileage and shorter charging times than electric vehicles

Generally, the average driving distance of an electric vehicle is around 400 km when fully charged, and the maximum driving range of the current model is 528 km. It takes an average of 9 to 12 hours to fully charge, and it is said that domestic electric vehicles capable of ultra-fast charging require 18 minutes to reach 80%.

Hydrogen cars have the advantage of longer mileage and shorter charging times than electric vehicles. A hydrogen car can travel about 800 km on a single charge, and the time it takes to fully charge is as short as 5 to 10 minutes.

◆Which fuel is cheaper?

Electric Vehicle Charging Station symbol at the motorway

Taking a domestic car as an example, the hydrogen electric vehicle ‘Nexo’ is said to travel 96.2 km with 1 kg of hydrogen. One kilogram of hydrogen fuel costs about 8,000 won, which means that it costs 83.2 won per kilometer.

The electric vehicle ‘IONIQ 5’ can travel 5.1 km at 1 kWh, and when fast charging, 292.9 won per 1 kW h is generated. In other words, an electric car costs 57.4 won per kilometer, so it can be said that the fuel cost of a hydrogen car is slightly more expensive than that of an electric car.

◆Hydrogen price, can’t it be lowered?

Hydrogen cars have a longer mileage and shorter charging time than electric vehicles, but the reality is that they are not actively selected by consumers because their fuel costs are relatively high and there are overwhelmingly few charging facilities. So, is there any way to lower the price of hydrogen and increase the number of charging stations?

Currently, hydrogen accounts for three-quarters of natural gas production, and it cannot be said to be environmentally friendly because carbon dioxide is emitted in the process. Therefore, the key is to produce hydrogen at a lower cost while being environmentally friendly.

To transport hydrogen, it must be reduced in volume, either compressed or converted into fuels such as ammonia or methanol. Therefore, the conversion process for re-fueling also incurs costs. As the cost of a tank that transports compressed hydrogen is expensive, multi-faceted research is required for energy supply, from production to transportation and storage.

◆Hanwha Solutions starts production of eco-friendly hydrogen!

Hanwha Solutions started producing hydrogen in July of last year. Hydrogen (H2) is generated when salt (NaCl), a raw material for caustic soda, is dissolved in water (H20) and decomposed. .

The hydrogen produced in this way is converted into 99.999% pure vehicle fuel through a refining process, and is supplied to local charging stations through Hyundai Glovis.

20% of Seoul’s greenhouse gas emissions come from internal combustion locomotives. Eco-friendly vehicles, such as electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles, are believed to definitely help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For a sustainable future, Hanwha Solutions is also striving to promote eco-friendly vehicles, from caustic soda, an essential material for removing impurities in the production process of electric vehicle batteries, to the production and supply of hydrogen energy.

Hanwha Solutions Blogger

*This contribution was written in partnership with Hanwha Solutions and Segye Ilbo.

[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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