Will fuel car - electric car - hydrogen fuel car be the history of automobile development?

November 15, 2023
Author: Zuoyuan Wei & Becket Foster

The automotive industry has arguably changed drastically in the last few years. Electric cars seem to have instantly replaced the fuel cars that have accompanied mankind for decades, and even the legendary ultimate form of automobiles, hydrogen-powered cars, are slowly coming into the limelight. Have you ever wondered why electric cars have been able to subvert fuel cars so quickly, what the future of automobiles will actually look like, and whether hydrogen cars are really the future form of automobiles for mankind? Let's find out in this article!

A look back at the evolution of electric vehicles

Electric cars actually have a long history, back in 1890, William Morrison created the first "electric car", however, due to technology, he was only able to reach speeds of 14 miles per hour. In contrast to this is the glory of the fuel car, which has been the ideal form of automobile for the past 100 years or so, thanks to its reliable performance, until the last decade or so. There has been explosive growth in the market size of electric vehicles, with the United States and China being the largest.

EV Market in the U.S.

So far, we've been researching and making our case for the initial growth point (0 to 1) of electric vehicles in the United States. In terms of data, we have found that this growth point occurred in 2011, a year in which EV sales grew by approximately 800%, and then nearly tripled in 2012. There are three main reasons for this: government funding, technology development and the impact of major product launches.

EV Market in China

The differences that exist between the Chinese market and the U.S. market are mainly in terms of timing and government influence. The 0 to 1 transition node of the Chinese market is slightly later than the U.S. market, appearing around 2014. Looking at the data, in 2013 the Chinese market's pure electric vehicle sales were only 36,700 units, while in 2014 it jumped to 193,200 units, and the sales of pure electric vehicles more than tripled and quadrupled in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The reasons for this are similar to the U.S. market, but government support is especially important in China, where the Chinese government launched 14 policies to support industry development in 2014 alone, and has invested more than 200 billion yuan so far. Prior to 2014, government-led pilot programs for electric buses in China's major cities created a large number of orders for electric vehicle companies. As a result, more car companies are willing to invest a lot of energy and wealth in electrification, and at the same time, favorable policies and subsidies have guided the influx of capital into new energy vehicle companies, which have laid the foundation for the explosive growth after 2014.

However, can the development of hydrogen vehicles really be as smooth as the replacement of fuel vehicles by electric vehicles? How strong is government support for hydrogen vehicles? Can hydrogen vehicles become mainstream in the future? We will explore this in more detail in future studies.