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Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Transport, Stationary, Others), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2026

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101708



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The global proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market size stood at USD 0.91 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 47.60 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 65.5% during the forecast period.

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Rising concerns to keep a check on GHG emissions along with favorable government initiatives to promote carbon-free economies will propel the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market growth. Development of advanced personal, commercial, and light, medium & heavy-duty vehicles with very low harmful discharge will further foster the product demand. PEMFC is a hydrogen-powered electromagnetic cell with two electrodes and a polymer membrane as an electrolyte. It offers high power density and can operate at low temperatures enabling it to be incorporated in various stationary and transport applications. The final products include several integral components, including the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), gaskets, humidifiers, end plates, current collectors, bipolar plates, and many others, which aids the current production & flow for high efficiency.

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Growing sales of FCEVs owing to rising acceptance among customers, along with advantageous government objectives is set to exponentially increase PEMFC demand across the globe. Asia Pacific is set to hold the lion’s share due to the availability of bulk manufacturing facilities along with the presence of major fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) producers like Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, and many others. In January 2018, the Ministerial Council on Renewable Energy of Japan announced new strategies to guide the country in achieving a carbon-free economy by 2050. Besides, the policy sets a target to position 40,000 FCEVs and 800,000 by the year 2020 and 2030, respectively.


“Increasing Demand For Clean Fuel Alternatives Will Spur Market Growth”

Increasing necessity for the adoption of clean fuel vehicles in order to curb carbon emission is one of the prime factors accelerating industry size. PEMFCs use air & pure oxygen as an oxidant and are fueled with pure hydrogen resulting in the emission of zero harmful chemicals but heat and water vapors. The European Union introduced the Climate and Energy Framework that set several objectives to promote clean energy alternatives and diminish carbon release. The policy targets the union countries to cut the regional GHG emissions by 40% and increase renewable energy mix to 32% by 2030.

“Increasing Government Initiatives To Propel Healthy Growth”

Different governments have implemented several policies to develop hydrogen-based fuels, and H2 refueling infrastructure for vehicles is further anticipated to aid the expansion of the market size. PEMFCs are readily adopted for vehicles with various power ratings owing to their ability to provide the power requirement of light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles. In January 2019, the South Korean government announced its targets to build about 1,200 hydrogen refueling stations along with an aim to deploy 6.2 million fuel cell vehicles by 2040.


By Application Analysis

“Transport Segment To Account For High Share During The Forecast Period”

Based on the application, the PEMFC market can be majorly divided into transport, stationary, and others. Transport is likely to lead the industry outlook in terms of volume as well as market size over the forecast period. Rising inclination towards the adoption of innovative FCEVs by customers coupled with growing R&D expenditures to reduce automotive FC systems prices will positively contribute to the segment’s growth.

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PEMFC systems are primarily a preferred choice for the production of hydrogen-powered automotive owing to their fast start-up times coupled with high output energy density for efficient propulsion. Subsequently, the stationary application is also expected to exhibit significant growth over the forecast period due to the increasing set up of combined heat and power (CHP) plants to serve the growing energy needs. Power plants discharge thousands of tons of carbon dioxide during operation, which is mostly avoided by hydrogen-fueled alternatives with zero emissions.


Geographically, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell market has been analyzed across four major regions, which are North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific is projected to possess dominating share and grow rapidly during the forecast period. Increasing government targets, rapidly developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure, rising energy demand, and growing measures to adopt cleaner fuel alternatives are some of the factors contributing to the regional outlook. In July 2015, Japan introduced an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) initiative with mid-term and long-term targets to reduce the country’s overall emission. The implemented plan outlines post-2020 targets and aims to decrease global GHG releases at the level of 26% by FY 2030. Key countries majorly participating in the region are China, South Korea, and Japan.

Asia Pacific Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market Size, 2018

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Increasing investments in research & development activities along with collaborations between government, universities, laboratories, and key industry players to develop advanced FC stacks will foster the growth in North America. The long-standing presence of innovative infrastructure to test and operate new technologies along with encouraging long-term targets has immensely favored the regional trend. In July 2018, California Fuel Cell Partnership, a partnership between major industry participants and the U.S. government, has set huge targets for the adoption of FC vehicles in the country. The collaboration aims to launch 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) and deploy a million fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the roads by 2030. Major nations actively contributing to the region are U.S. and Canada.

Europe's PEMFC market is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period. Stringent regulations by the regional governments coupled with promising targets FCEVs and hydrogen infrastructure will positively influence the industry trends. Various countries in the region have implemented new plans to build hydrogen refueling stations to flourish FCEV adoption, which in turn will propel PEMFC demand. In March 2019, the U.S. International Energy Agency reported that Germany has different short term, mid-term, as well as long-term targets to build numerous HRS in the country. The organization suggested that the nation plans to function 100, 400, and 1,000 stations at various locations by the year 2020, 2025, and 2030, respectively.


“Industry Players Like Ballard, Plug Power, and Hydrogenics To Remain Persistent In Bolstering Market Dynamics”

Various industry participants are currently producing FC systems at different locations and production capacities to cater customized application needs across the globe. Key players are widely focusing on investing in research & development activities to launch advanced products for heavy-duty applications. Various companies are also interested in collaborating with other establishments to serve the need for innovative refuelling infrastructure and support the adoption of FCEVs.

List Of Key COMPANIES Covered:

  • Ballard Power Systems

  • Plug Power

  • Hydrogenics

  • Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC

  • Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies

  • Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology

  • ITM Power

  • AVL

  • ElringKlinger

  • Intelligent Energy

  • W. L. Gore & Associates

  • Pragma Industries

  • Umicore

  • Shanghai Shenli Technology Co., Ltd.

  • Johnson Matthey


Proton exchange membrane fuel cell or PEMFC is a direct hydrogen-based fuel cell having a solid-state membrane as electrolytes along with platinum (Pt) catalysts electrodes. It employs water in ample quantity as it requires continuous hydrated medium to operate at optimum levels. PEMFC delivers various advantages, including providing constant power for vehicle propulsion, to partly or wholly run the automobile’s electrical systems, and is also deployed as a secondary power source. The device is designed to convert H2 fuel into electrical energy to drive electric motors with various power ratings to accelerate vehicles. It works on the mechanism that clean fuel is passed through field flow plates directly to the anodes whereas the cathode is concentrated with oxygen from the air. Pt catalyst helps in breaking the H2 in protons and electrons at the anode, from which the negatively charged electrons are set to channel through a circuit to generate electric current. The produced current is used to propel the vehicles while the positive ions combine with oxygen at the cathode to make water, which is treated as the emissions of FC systems. Furthermore, it is also referred to as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell by numerous industry participants.

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The report provides detailed information and offers insights into the market. Some of them are growth drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, regional analysis, and challenges. It further offers an analytical depiction of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell market trends and estimations to illustrate the forthcoming investment pockets. The market is quantitatively analyzed from 2019 to 2026 to provide the financial competency of the market. The information gathered in the report has been taken from several primary and secondary sources.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) and Volume (MW)


By Application

  • Transportation

  • Stationary

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

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

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

  • Rest of the World



  • In October 2019, Ballard Power Systems secured a purchase order from the mining truck demonstration project initiated by UK based Anglo American PLC. The agreement aims the company to deliver 900 kW of FC modules under its FCveloCity-HD PEMFC fleet to be installed in ultra-heavy duty mining applications commencing during 2020.

  • In December 2018, Nuvera Fuel Cells inked an agreement with the Hangzhou district government in the Zhejiang province, China, to scale up its manufacturing capacity by setting up a new PEMFC unit in the region. The contract aims to fast track the production and sales of FC stacks with the main target to power FC heavy-duty vehicles.

  • In October 2018, Hydrogenics declared to deliver a large-scale electrolysis system to support the fuelling station infrastructure in Germany. The device will assist in producing hydrogen at the location to help FCEVs to be deployed as the primary transit vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market was valued at USD 0.91 Billion in 2018.

The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market is projected to reach USD 47.60 billion by 2026.

The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market is projected to grow exponentially at a CAGR of 65.5%.

Asia Pacific proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market was valued at USD 0.44 billion in 2018.

The transportation application is anticipated to be the leading segment in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market during the forecast period.

Rising measures to adopt clean fuel vehicles along with favorable government policies to develop hydrogen infrastructure are the key market drivers. However, the limited existence of hydrogen refueling stations may hinder industry growth.

Ballard Power Systems, Plug Power, Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, and Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, are among the top players in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market.

Governments from various nations have introduced stringent guidelines to keep a check on carbon footprint leading to the adoption of zero-emission passenger & commercial vehicles. PEMFCs are devices that are used majorly in FCEVs that only produces water vapors and heat as vehicle discharge. Therefore, carbon emission reduction policies will imply customers to adopt PEMFC powered devices.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Dec, 2019
  • 2018
  • 2015-2017
  • 110


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