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The modelling and control of PEMFC possesses great challenges due to PEMFC system's inherent nonlinearities and time-varying characteristics. The objective of this paper is to propose a novel model predictive control (MPC) strategy based on the least square support vector machine (LSSVM). First, a set of LSSVM models are generated and each model represents one PEMFC performance output. By mapping PEMFC performance outputs as a function of various operation conditions, LSSVM models disregard complex internal details and thus provide low calculation burden for the control algorithm. Then model predictive control is employed by using Model Predictive Control Toolbox in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. The LSSVM model and the model predictive controller are simulated and the results demonstrate their effectiveness. The nominal value of the oxygen excess ratio and the stack voltage are able to be maintained during abrupt changes in the stack current.