Energy Efficiency Comparison of Hybrid Powertrain Systems for Fuel-Cell-Based Electric Vehicles
Paper in proceeding, 2020

Fuel cell electric vehicles have great superiorities in endurance mileage, charging speed and climate tolerance compared to battery electric vehicles. However, a supercapacitor or battery bank is required to maintain a fast-dynamic response, which leads to several hybridization structures for fuel-cell-based electric vehicles due to the unique characteristics of each device, and their performances are also differing. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive comparison of hybrid powertrain systems for three types of powertrains: fuel cell/supercapacitor passive hybrid, fuel cell/supercapacitor semi-active hybrid, and fuel cell/battery semi-active hybrid. Each powertrain component model is developed from the real components wherever possible, and Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle is studied as the benchmark. The powertrain energy efficiency under Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Cycle (WLTC) is analyzed and evaluated. The simulation results show that three powertrains have the same energy consumption, and fuel cell/supercapacitor passive hybrid powertrain increases the system efficiency by 2% and 4% in propulsion and regenerative braking, respectively. By contrast, the other two powertrain topologies have similar performance in terms of energy efficiency.

fuel cell vehicles


passive hybrid


semi-active hybrid

energy efficiency


Qian Xun

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Yujing Liu

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Nan Zhao

University College Dublin

ITEC 2019 - 2019 IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo

9781728146294 (ISBN)

2020 IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC)
Chicago, IL, USA,

Cost-effective drivetrains for fuel cell powered EVs

Swedish Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Centre (SHC), 2017-01-01 -- 2019-06-30.

Floating voltage fuel cell drive system

Swedish Energy Agency (44935-1), 2018-01-01 -- 2018-08-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

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Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Energy Systems



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