A Comparative Review of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) Part I: Performance and Parameter Characteristics, Emissions, Well-to-Wheels Efficiency and Fuel Economy, Alternative Fuels, Hybridization of FCV, and Batteries for Hybrid Vehicles Conference Paper uri icon


  • Currently, almost all the activities in the development of new generation of vehicles are focused on fuel cell powered vehicles (FCVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). However, there are still uncertainties as to which provides the maximum benefits in terms of performance, energy savings and impact on the environment. This paper compares the performance and parameter characteristics of FCVs and HEVs with a view towards an objective assessment of the relative performance of these vehicles. In particular, this paper reviews major characteristics of FCVs as zero or ultra-low emission vehicles (ZEV/ULEVs), their presumed high efficiency and potential for using alternative fuels, while also considering their limited performance at high power demands. In a similar vein, the paper considers the main characteristics of HEVs as low emission vehicles (LEVs), their presumed high efficiency, their ability to capture regenerative braking, as well as their operating range while evaluating their limitations in terms of additional weight of the batteries and dependence on petroleum. Although FCVs produce lower "vehicle emissions" than most other types of vehicles, a true picture is obtained only if total life-cycle emissions are compared for different vehicles. This paper presents the comparison for well-to-wheels emissions for various vehicles. As in the case of emissions, well-to-wheels efficiencies and fuel economy are compared for FCVs and HEVs to get an accurate comparison. This paper gives the alternative fuel options for both FCVs and HEVs. Hybridization of FCVs (HFCVs) is put forth as a means to enhance their performance and efficiency. This paper presents the key issues in hybridization of FCVs. In addition, other issues like battery types for HEVs and HFCVs, are explored in this paper. Copyright 2003 SAE International.

name of conference

  • SAE Technical Paper Series

published proceedings

  • SAE Technical Papers

author list (cited authors)

  • Moghbelli, H., Ganapavarapu, K., Langari, R., & Ehsani, M.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Moghbelli, H||Ganapavarapu, K||Langari, R||Ehsani, M

publication date

  • December 2003