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Automotive Fuel Cell Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC), Others), By Power Rating (Below 100 kW, 100 – 200 kW, Above 200 kW), By Vehicles (Passenger Vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Bus, Trucks), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 10, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101809



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The global automotive fuel cell market size was valued at USD 4.98 billion in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 7.42 billion in 2024 to USD 121.39 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 41.81% 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.

Automotive Fuel Cell Market Trends

Innovations in the Development of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles to Drive Market Growth

Globally, numerous companies are striving to perform research & development activities to bring about advanced breakthroughs in fuel cell vehicle technologies. Currently, there are a large number of players integrating the technology across their fleets to enhance the power output efficiency of vehicles. For example, in December 2020, Ballard Power Systems attained a follow-on order from a Belgian company called Van Hool to power fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) manufactured by Van, to be deployed in Emmen, the Netherlands. Ballard is set to provide 10 new FC modules for A330 buses with an operating range of 350-400 kilometers and a carrying capacity of about 74 people.

Focus on Improving Hydrogen Infrastructures to Augment Industry Pace

Hydrogen infrastructure plays a vital role in the placement of FCEVs on roads, handling their refueling needs. Besides this, many companies are also concentrating on producing clean hydrogen fuel and building new hydrogen fueling stations to support the expansion of FCEVs. For example, in July 2020, Air Liquide announced plans to construct the maiden high-pressure (about 700 bar) H2 refueling station in France to provide around 20 refuelings per day for long-haul hydrogen trucks at 1,000 kg/day.

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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.

Automotive Fuel Cell Market Growth Factors

“Growing Demand for Zero-Emission Vehicles Is Set to Propel the Market Growth

The increasing greenhouse gases and depleting fossil fuel reserves have given a rise to the adoption of zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles. Various research and development activities are in the process to accelerate the adoption of FCEVs due to their longer driving ranges compared to their non-zero emission alternative, battery-based electric vehicles. FCEVs utilize hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity, emitting only water vapor as a byproduct, thereby addressing concerns about air pollution and climate change.

Moreover, the governments worldwide have tightened regulations on vehicle emissions for meeting the sustainability targets, leading to the growth of fuel cell electric vehicles. For instance, the U.S. set the target at the COP27 to only sell and produce zero-emissions medium and heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses and tractor trailers by 2040 and become zero emission until then.

 “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.


High Initial Costs & the Presence of Battery Electric Vehicle Alternatives May Obstruct FCEV Adoption

The ease of availability, as well as comprehensive large-scale manufacturing capabilities of battery electric vehicle (BEVs) companies, may hinder the automotive fuel cell market growth. Additionally, high manufacturing costs associated with fuel cell vehicles might also act as a limitation to their adoption across different countries. However, numerous public and private enterprises are continuously engaging in efforts to bridge the gap between these shortcomings. For instance, in May 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that the global battery electric vehicle deployment totaled 3.29 million units in 2019, rising from 1.95 million units in 2018, observing an astronomical annual increase of over 68.7%.

Automotive Fuel Cell Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

“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 market growth due to its ability to operate with high power outputs along with stability and higher impurity tolerance.

By Power Rating Analysis

“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.

By Vehicles Analysis

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“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. 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.


Asia Pacific Automotive Fuel Cell Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Geographically, this 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.

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.

List of Key Companies in Automotive Fuel Cell Market

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.

List of Key Companies Profiled:


  • In October 2019, Plugpower announced to initiate a collaboration with MULAG, a Germany based vehicle manufacturer to produce light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The partnership aims to build a new range of electric cargo tow trucks propelled using fuel cell technology and to be deployed at Hamburg Airport in the country.

  • In December 2018, the Hyundai Motor Company declared its new visionary plan for the manufacturing and deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles, namely ‘FCEV Vision 2030’. The company targets to manufacture 700,000 FC systems per annum by 2030, out of which 500,000 units are projected to be integrated into FCEVs annually.

  • In September 2018, Hydrogenics has declared to deliver multiple fuel cell modules to TransPower and GTI for developing heavy-duty trucks in Southern California, U.S. The contract includes total shipment of six units to develop Class 8 Navistar drayage trucks to promote zero-emission technology in commercial trucking usage.


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.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Units)

Growth Rate

CAGR of 41.81% from 2024-2032


By Type


  • PAFC

  • Others

By Power Rating

  • Below 100 kW

  • 100 – 200 kW

  • Above 200 kW

By Vehicles

  • Passenger Vehicles

  • Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs)

  • Bus

  • Trucks

By Region

  • North America (the U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and the Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, South Korea, Japan, and the Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Rest of the World

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the automotive fuel cell market was valued at USD 4.98 billion in 2023.

The market is projected to reach USD 121.39 billion by 2032.

The market is projected to grow exponentially at a CAGR of 41.81% during 2024-2032.

Asia Pacific market was valued at USD 3.64 billion in 2023.

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 market.

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