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In this paper, equivalent electric circuit models of a commercial 1.2-kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack are proposed based on AC impedance studies. The PEM fuel cell stack was operated using room air and pure hydrogen (99.995%). Using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) technique, impedance data were collected in the laboratory under various loading conditions. Impedance data were analyzed and circuit models developed using basic circuit elements like resistors and inductors, and distributed elements such as Warburg and constant-phase elements. A nonlinear least-square fitting technique is employed to obtain the circuit parameters by fitting a curve to the experimental impedance data. Two circuit models of the fuel cell, one for low and one for high currents are proposed. The average ohmic resistance for the whole stack is estimated to be 41 mΩ. Double-layer capacitances are determined at anode and cathode at various current densities. As expected, cathode charge transfer resistance turns out to be much higher than the anode charge transfer resistance because of slower kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction. At higher load currents, a significant increase in mass transfer resistance as well as low-frequency inductive effects is observed. These low-frequency inductive effects are recognized and modeled in the fuel cell models of this work. Finally, a semiquantitative analysis was used to determine the contribution of individual performance factors to the overall fuel cell voltage drop. The transient response of the fuel cell circuit models is simulated using MATLAB/Simulink and their performance is validated by comparison with experimental data.