What are the differences between lithium batteries and fuel cells?

Date:Dec 17, 2019

Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of lithium batteries and fuel cells

① cost

High costs and complex hydrogen production processes have become major obstacles to the development of fuel cells. Hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis or steam reforming. However, these two methods are quite costly. The cost of producing natural gas of the same quality is 1/2 or even 1/3 of that of hydrogen production.

Lithium battery production cost is relatively low, in addition, its repeated charging and utilization is very convenient, compared with other portable energy sources, it is more cost-effective.


Both fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries have a small environmental impact. The former combustion product is water and does not produce the greenhouse gases produced after gasoline / diesel combustion. The discharge products of lithium batteries may be made of lithium oxide, lithium hydroxide, etc., and will not affect the environment. In addition, lithium-ion batteries are reusable. Based on the above, these two types of batteries have become the most popular power sources for electric vehicles.


Fuel cells use polymer membranes as electrodes to support the generation of electricity after the hydrogen-oxygen reaction. Polymer films must be specially processed to withstand high temperatures and mechanical stress. Lithium ions in a lithium battery are capable of absorbing charge, so the battery has the ability to store electricity. Lithium ions are very lightweight, making them an ideal source of power for automobiles.

Whether it is a fuel cell system or a lithium-ion power battery, the consequences of a safety accident are extremely serious. However, from the perspective of system control only, I personally believe that the controllability of fuel cells in terms of safety influence factors is relatively easier to control than lithium-ion power batteries.

Fuel cell vehicles are another important aspect of automotive batteries. Compared with lithium batteries, the advantages and disadvantages of fuel cells are obvious. However, in the long run, it is unknown whether fuel cells and lithium batteries will be widely used in the future.

Which battery will prevail in the future also depends on whether the bottlenecks of the two batteries can be solved well. The key technologies facing lithium batteries include energy density improvement, safety, and thermal management. Fuel cells face high costs and durability Insufficient, cold start difficult, system integration optimization and other bottlenecks. In the short term, lithium batteries are more suitable, while in the long term fuel cells are more sustainable.

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