Automotive use of fuel cells has received increased attention due to clean and efficient power generation. Successful vehicular applications require careful balance of design and control trade-offs. This article presents a model-based vehicle design capability with sufficient fidelity and efficiency to perform design and power management optimization using quasisteady fuel cell performance maps. Optimized fuel cell systems demonstrate a trade-off between power density and efficiency depending on compressor size. Vehicle performance can be improved significantly when the fuel cell system is designed to balance this trade-off.