International Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association


UNDP Accelerating the Development and Commercialisation of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China

It has been 15 years since UNDP China began promoting hydrogen-based clean energy solutions, staring from 2003 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). What began as a small demonstration pilot, has now been scaled across multiple cities.

The programme contributed to a series of nationwide progress in the industry, including pushing for national, regional and local policies and strategic plans, building a knowledge sharing network and platform, pushing for industrial standards, successful operations demonstration, and building a platform for technical capacity development. The country now has 4 industrial clusters, policy incentives or development plan in place in 11 provinces and cities, 33 publicly-listed companies on the production chain, and over 41 auto makers that have set up FCV assembly lines.

Objectives: the strategy consists of components covering the areas of:

- FCV and FC technology improvement/cost reduction (raising technical abilities and international sourcing connections of China’s FCV manufacturers, raising technical abilities of its FCV component manufacturers, and demonstrating 109 FCVs across 4 demo cities);

- Hydrogen production and hydrogen refueling stations (introducing in China renewable energy-based hydrogen production of substantial scale and demonstrating at least 4 hydrogen refueling stations with varied business models);

- Policy (covering national FCV Roadmap, standards and certification, expedited approval processes, and stabilised and expanded incentive policies, including two policy pilots);

- Awareness and information dissemination (addressing the general public, government officials, etc. and ensuring replication);

- Capacity building (covering FCV and hydrogen refueling station O&M and the financial sector’s knowledge of and ability to assess investments and loans in FCV-related areas).


Technological improvement:

- Lifetime of FCV stacks is now 5 times long as it was during Phase I

- Dramatic unit cost reduction has been achieved through implementation of the project with one FC bus at around USD 1.8 million in 2003 and now around 0.5-0.7 million in 2018, achieving at least around 62% reduction.

Policy improvement:

- A Technology Roadmap for Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicles was published by the Chinese Government;

- FCV have been reflected into other strategies such as “Made in China 2025”

- China’s Innovation Action Plan for Energy Technology Revolution (2016-2030)

- “Action Plan to Combat Pollution Caused by Diesel Trucks” endorsed by 11 Ministry and Commission level Chinese government agencies

In addition to the five project pilot cities, other cities, such as Zhangjiakou, Changshu and Rugao have been attracted to join the Project as new pilot cities. The project has great potential for further up-scaling as there are more and more cities and private sector companies (i.e. Toyota) interested in participating in the DevCom FCV Project.

By 2020, the number of FCVs from co-financing is expected to reach 1,000, going far beyond the target of 100, as designed in the ProDoc. The Yangtze Delta Hydrogen Corridor is the first ever trans-provincial and cross-regional plan for hydrogen energy infrastructure construction in China. It significantly promotes China’s infrastructure construction and accumulates experience for future development. Its success stories and the lessons learned have been shared across China. The project has also gained media coverage and enhanced visibility, with featured articles on mainstream media platforms such as China Daily.