Changan dreams of being the Tesla of hydrogen

Changan is launching the first hydrogen-powered car to go into mass production in China. Marketed under the Deep Blue brand, it promises up to 700 kilometers of autonomy.

Already known for their appetite for electric cars, Chinese carmakers are gradually moving into hydrogen. Based in Chongqing, in the southwest of the country, Changan is one of the first Chinese manufacturers to present a hydrogen car ready for mass production. Called the SL03 and marketed under the Deep Blue brand, the mid-size sedan is 4.82 m long, 1.89 m wide and 1.48 m high (with a 2.9 m wheelbase).

Up to 700 km of autonomy

In terms of design, there is no revolution, as this first hydrogen car is based on the same design as the exclusively electric version previously launched by the Chinese brand. Only a small grille and two air intakes, one on the right and the other on the left, have been added to the front.

On the technical side, the differences with the battery electric version are obviously more significant. Equipped with a 160 kW fuel cell, the Deep Blue SL03 claims a hydrogen consumption of 0.65 kg/100 km and a range of 700 kilometers in ordinary driving conditions. Although the configuration of the tanks is not specified, the performances announced by the manufacturer suggest a capacity of about 5 kilos, probably at 700 bars.

Democratizing hydrogen cars

Wishing to democratize hydrogen in China, where the technology is still in its infancy, Changan wants to position itself as a pioneer of the fuel cell car.

However, you’ll have to break your piggy bank to buy this first Chinese hydrogen car. Announced at a price of 699,900 yuan, or more than €100,000, this Deep Blue SL03 is three times more expensive than the electric version, which costs between 183,900 and 215,900 yuan.

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