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The global automotive fuel cell market size was USD 0.46 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 17.24 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 59.7% during the forecast period.
Growing awareness among customers and governments to promote zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), coupled with the implementation of numerous carbon reduction targets & norms, will boost the market. Various countries are continuously focusing on developing and deploying efficient, clean fuel-powered vehicles across different sectors to reduce fossil fuel dependency. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) utilize direct hydrogen fuel for propulsion of automotive, leaving water and heat as the main discharges. These automobiles intake oxygen from the air to react with the compressed hydrogen in order to generate electricity to propel the motors with numerous power ratings. Fuel cell stacks are integrated with several types of vehicles, including buses and trucks, which significantly contributes to the degradation of air quality with bulk discharges.
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Encouraging policies and subsidies to support customers’ affordability to adopt FCEVs is set to extensively increase the vehicle fuel cell market globally. Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold a major portion owing to the presence of established manufacturing infrastructure by key FCEV producers across the region. Various small players are also present in the territory to support the production of numerous fuel cell components like bipolar plates, catalysts, and many others along with complete FC stack modules. Furthermore, different nations have implemented new policies and targets to promote hydrogen-based automotive to achieve carbon-free economies with deployment of bulk fuel cell vehicle fleets.
“Growing Demand for Zero-Emission Vehicles Is Set to Propel the Market Growth”
Rising need to incorporate alternative fuel vehicles to keep a check on global GHG emissions, along with the increasing inclination among consumers towards ZEV adoption will foster the industry outlook. Various market competitors have introduced innovative variants to their FCEV fleet to suffice to the increasing demand. Furthermore, key participants have introduced new plans to set up new facilities and deploy a large number of FCEVs on roads.
“Favorable Government Initiatives and Investments Boost the Demand for Automotive Fuel Cell”
Increasing investments in research & development activities to introduce more efficient fuel cell systems and simultaneously reduce manufacturing price is projected to contribute to the industry dynamics. R&D is set to aid the adoption of FC systems for various medium and heavy-duty applications with cost-effective installations. Additionally, regional governments have introduced encouraging policies to improve the hydrogen infrastructure and support FCEV adoption through subsidies and targets.
“PEMFC Type FC Stacks is Projected to Lead Market Throughout Forecast Timeframe”
On the basis of type, the vehicle’s fuel cell market can be broadly divided into Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC), and others. PEMFC segment is anticipated to account for the major automotive fuel cell market share in terms of volume and revenue. Increasing funding by different administrations and organizations, along with regular R&D operations to support mass production of the stacks, will further boost the demand for this segment. Low operating temperature, high power density, less start-up time, and compact size are some of the features enabling PEMFC to be effectively integrated with the transport applications. Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell segment is expected to witness significant automotive fuel cell market growth due to its ability to operate with high power outputs along with stability and higher impurity tolerance.
“Below 100 kW Power Rating Fuel Cells Are Anticipated to Grow Substantially”
Based on power rating, the market can be segregated into below 100 kW, 100 – 200 kW, and above 200 kW. Below 100 kW rated FC systems are likely to witness significant growth due to rising adoption of fuel cell passenger vehicles. The development of advanced automobiles with low manufacturing costs to enter new customer reach will boost the segment demand. Besides this, the 100 – 200 kW power stacks are projected to exhibit considerable growth and hold significant share during the forecast timeline. Expanding public transit infrastructure to replace the existing old fleet will further complement the segment outlook. Increasing research & development activities to integrate FC systems in heavy and ultra-heavy applications is set to foster the above 200 kW power rated automotive fuel cell demand.
“Passenger Vehicles Are Expected to Dominate Global Industry Size and Volume”
Based on vehicles, the market can be primarily bifurcated into passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles (LCVs), bus, and trucks. Passenger vehicles are projected to account for the lion’s share in terms of volume as well as revenue. Huge government targets to promote FCEVs on the road, along with extensive services offered by the car manufacturers will complement the deployment of FC passenger cars.
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The increasing inclination of various commercial infrastructures and conglomerate companies to utilize hydrogen-powered automotive for numerous regular operations is set to propel the light commercial vehicles segment dynamics. Fuel cell buses segment is anticipated to earn high automotive fuel cell market revenue owing to the rising concerns to diminish harmful discharge from public transports, along with a positive outlook to replace newly sold units with FC alternatives. Considerable targets and policies to roll out new lines of mid and long-range transport vehicles operating on clean fuels along with the rapidly developing hydrogen infrastructure to support distant traveling FCEVs will positively influence fuel cell truck demand.
Geographically, the automotive fuel cell market has been analyzed across four major regions, which are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific is expected to lead the market owing to an exponential increase in the deployment of FCEVs, along with positive results for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. Various countries across the region are also substantially investing in development of hydrogen infrastructure and have introduced positive goals to expand hydrogen refueling station availability. Key nations that are actively operating in the territory are China, South Korea, and Japan.
Asia Pacific Automotive Fuel Cell Market Size, 2018
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Substantial government targets and initiatives, along with significant R&D investment to manufacture highly advanced FC systems will propel the North America automotive fuel cell market size. Increasing hydrogen-based technology adoption across various states, coupled with encouraging targets to promote the deployment of zero-emission vehicles, is set to complement the regional outlook further. In 2019, the Government of Canada announced to fund CAD 130 million over five years (2019-2024) to develop charging and refueling infrastructure for ZEVs under its Federal Budget 2019. Furthermore, it has set aspiring targets for ZEV sales to comprise light-duty vehicle sales of 10%, 30%, and 100% of ZEVs by 2025, 2030, and 2040, respectively. Major countries contributing to the region are the U.S. and Canada.
Europe's automotive fuel cell market is likely to exhibit considerable growth due to strict carbon reduction norms along with ambitious targets for FCEVs deployment. The European Union has implemented several policies directing the member states to diminish the carbon discharge significantly at different time intervals. In June 2018, the Government of France announced their new plan to promote hydrogen and other renewable energy. The strategy outlines the country’s medium and long term targets to deploy over 5,000 FCEVs by 2023 and about 52,000 FCEVs by the year 2028. Key countries operating in the region are UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden.
“Industry Participants Like Ballard, Hyundai, Plug Power, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Among Others to Remain Determined in Shaping Market Trends”
Key market players are increasing focus to introduce pioneering products and solutions to provide varied needs across light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles. Major companies are emphasizing on expanding their production facilities with high production capacities to cut the manufacturing costs. Several FCEV producing companies have also introduced new plans to set huge production targets to serve the growing zero-emission vehicle needs across various regions.
Fuel cells are powered with direct hydrogen fuel and are used in different types of vehicles to provide propulsive power to the vehicle engines. The systems are primarily integrated with innovative designs and structures as it does not emit harmful discharges but gives heat and water vapors through the exhaust. It uses H2 as a fuel to undergo a chemical process rather than combustion in the alternative internal combustion engines (ICEs) to generate electricity for propulsion. Furthermore, new prototypes are being designed to use this zero-emission alternative for long-haul operations in various applications with high power requirements such as marine and rail to make conventional technologies obsolete.
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The report offers an elaborative analysis of numerous factors affecting the global market. These include opportunities, growth drivers, threats, key developments, and restraints. Current automotive fuel cell market trends are also listed in the report. In addition to this, it further helps in analyzing, segmenting, and defining the market based on different segments such as type, power rating, and vehicles. It strategically analyzes several strategies such as product innovations, mergers, alliances, joint ventures, and acquisitions adopted by players in the industry.
Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Units)
By Power Rating
Fortune Business Insights says that the automotive fuel cell market was valued at USD 0.46 Billion in 2018.
The automotive fuel cell market is projected to reach USD 17.24 billion by 2026.
The automotive fuel cell market is projected to grow exponentially at a CAGR of 59.7%.
Asia Pacific automotive fuel cell market was valued at USD 0.22 billion in 2018.
Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) type is anticipated to be the leading segment in the automotive fuel cell market during the forecast period.
Growing concerns to curb the overall GHG emissions, along with encouraging government policies are the key market drivers. However, the confined availability of refueling stations for FCEVs may hinder the industry growth.
Plug Power, Hyundai Motor Company, Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, Ballard Power Systems, and Hydrogenics, are among the top players in the automotive fuel cell market.
Various governments have implemented huge targets to deploy large fuel cell electric vehicles fleet to keep a check on GHG emissions from various vehicles. Automotive fuel cells are used to power light, medium, and heavy-duty automobiles with no harmful emissions to the environment. Consequently, zero-emission vehicle targets by different governments will enable customers to accept automotive fuel cell-powered vehicles.
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