Although hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs) are more environment-friendly compared to the conventional vehicles, their energy consumption, emissions, and the economic impacts involved remain unclear from a life cycle perspective. Therefore, these aspects of HFCEVs were investigated herein using the GREET model under operating conditions for China. The results showed that HFCEVs can reduce the life cycle cost by 13.2%, energy consumption by 9.7%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 13.1% in comparison with gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (GICEVs). However, the life cycle results showed that HFCEVs can increase the acidification potential by 111.7%, aerosol pollution by 273.9%, and human toxicity potential by 87.7%. Therefore, compared with GICEVs, the impacts of energy consumption and environmental emissions of HFCEVs are transferred from the use phase to the production phase of the fuel, and the purchase cost of HFCEVs is shifted from end users to the government.
Keywords life cycle assessment, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (HFCEV), battery electric vehicle (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), GREET model