Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, the Chemistry, the Cars, the Careers

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The influencing factors for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEVs). New technicians are need to work on BEVs, FCEVs and the fueling infrastructure.

This presentation was prepared and given at the 2017 North American Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Conference held at Macomb Community College from July 17-21, 2017.

Fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity in an electrochemical reaction rather than the combustion process used in internal combustion engines. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) are projected to be a breakthrough technology for electric vehicles and they complement battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in that they have longer driving ranges and re-fuel faster than BEVs.

The state of California is counting on FCEVs to be a significant contribution to the zero-emission vehicle fleet that they are mandating in order to reduce air pollution and green-house gas emissions over the next 30 years. California has contributed funding to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations over the next several years. Three major car manufacturers are currently selling or leasing FCEVs in California.

Automotive technicians with skills in electronics and software will be need to service battery, fuel cell vehicles and the fueling infrastructure. In addition, the technicians will need the ability to work with high voltage and high-pressure flammable gases. Automotive technician training programs to prepare such technicians are being developed at several community colleges. A new type of technician, called a Vehicle Development Technician (VDT) is needed to assist engineers at the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers developing future vehicle systems.

A VDT Associate Degree program is being developed at Macomb Community College.
Alternative Fuels and Lubricants
Energy Storage and Battery Technology
Fuel Cells/Hydrogen
HEV/EV System Technologies (HEV, EV, and Plug-in HEV)
Product Lifecycle:
Pre-production: Research, Design, Development, Testing, and Tooling
Resource Type:
Macomb Community College, Wayne State University
Author & Title:
Nelson A. Kelly, Assistant Director, Energy and Automotive Technology, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT)
Date Developed:
Monday, August 07, 2017
Batteries,Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs),Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) technology,emissions,hydrogen,hybrid,plug-in
Education Level:
Undergrad Students (13-14)
Undergrad Students (15-16)
Graduate Students
Industry Professionals/Practitioners