China Hydrogen Cars
A Chinese policeman stands in front of General Motors' revolutionary Hy-wire car at the Great Wall of China on the outskirts of Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

A Chinese company in central China claimed that its hydrogen-powered vehicle can travel 500 kilometers using only water. The country encourages and accelerates the development and sustainability of hydrogen energy in the country.

Nanyang Daily newspaper reported that the car built by Qingnian Cars in Nanyang, a city in Henan province, was tested on Wednesday when local Communist Party chiefs visited the plant.

Pang Qingnian, chief executive of the company, said that the vehicle is not known to have been tested over longer distances but it is capable of traveling between 300 to 500 kilometers powered by 300 to 400 liters of water. Mr. Pang said that the cost of research and development of the vehicle is a trade secret that he cannot reveal but he said that it was built at a low cost since it is their company's technology.

According to Mr. Pang, the car's engine ran on hydrogen produced by a chemical reaction caused by applying a catalyst to a mixture of aluminum powder and water. He added that there is an abundance of water everywhere and they don't have to go to the Middle East to purchase. Water is also safe and not polluting.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles gain popularity in China's new energy vehicles market. The water needs to undergo the process of electrolysis to fuel hydrogen-powered car with water alone.

According to reports, China is planning to boost its hydrogen energy. China plans to develop four "hydrogen corridors" in the Yangtze River Delta region which is based on the expressway network in the area by 2021. China will add more hydrogenation infrastructure facilities that link the cities in the region.

China plans to link Shanghai, Suzhou, Nantong, Rugao, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Huzhou and Zhangjiagang with the corridors. According to the Hydrogen Corridor Development Plan in the Yangtze River Delta Region released by the China Society of Automotive Engineers (CSAE) on Friday, the cities have been developing hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicle industries.

China plans to build more than 40 hydrogen refueling stations in the region from 2019 to 2021. They also plan to link major expressways including the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway, the Shanghai-Chengdu Expressway, the Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway, and the Shanghai-Kunming Expressway.

Qingnian Cars collaborated with Hubei University of Technology to develop hydrogen technology since 2006. According to Jiang Feng, a professor of materials of material sciences at Xian University, said that people need to keep an open mind towards the claims of the car maker.