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energy programs in Japan, the EU and North America. The
factors driving market growth include the demand for clean
deployment of fuel cells in mobility applications, government
support in funding technological innovation and financing
programs, government policies and mandates pushing for
fossil-fuel free transportation, and growing private-public
partnerships for reduced emissions. The development of
robust regulatory networks and policy frameworks are also
de-risking investment and promoting market growth. The
use of fuel cell technology in transportation is growing rapidly
with technological advancements in H2
designs, the development of H2
of H2
-powered vehicle
hubs, and the development
infrastructure and refueling stations.
Propelled by aggressive investments in heavy-duty
mobility and deployment in trucks, marine applications,
forklifts and the development of localized H2
hubs, the
fuel cell market is slated to grow the most in the Asia-Pacific
region. Other key drivers for growth in Asia include
the adoption of fuel cell-based residential cogeneration
systems, the adoption of fuel cells in public transport,
incentives to automobile companies, and government regulations
for emissions and H2
roadmaps. In the U.S., California
is the highest growth market due to the state's mandate
on the transition to battery or fuel-cell vehicles by 2030.
Fuel cells are being used in a variety of applications,
including transportation, material handling and stationary,
portable and emergency backup power. Stationary applications
are projected to grow 250% by 2027 vs. 2022, and
fuel cell in transportation is slated to increase by 200%,
while insignificant growth is being estimated in the portable
applications segment.
The cost of platinum catalyst accounts for about 26% of
the total cost of fuel cells and, like with PEM electrolyzers,
the cost of this rare-earth material is expected to impact
the overall cost of fuel cells. Ongoing research focuses
on overcoming critical technical barriers to improve the
cost, performance and durability of fuel cells. R&D efforts
are underway to develop lower cost fuel cell stacks and
balance of plant components and to optimize high-volume
manufacturing processes to drive down overall cost in the
short term. In the long term, major cost reductions are
as a vector for net-zero and the resultant widespread
expected through the development of reduced platinum or
platinum group metal free catalysts.
Innovative material and integration strategies focus
on developing higher efficiency and durable membrane
electrolytes and membrane electrode assemblies (MEA)
with higher power density yet are suitable for robust
performance under dynamic, harsh operating conditions.
Targets for fuel cell operating lifetimes are set at 8,000 hr
for light-duty vehicles, 30,000 hr for heavy-duty trucks and
80,000 hr for distributed power systems. Cost improvements
in fuel cells are also expected with improved materials
and strategies being developed to mitigate the impact
of stresses due to dynamic load cycles on materials and
component stability. New applications in long-distance
mobility are also gaining popularity, with several successful
trials by Alstom in rail transport in Europe, while Progress
Rail, BNSF Railway Company and Chevron have also
launched a project to power line-rail haul using fuel cells.
In aviation, ZeroAvia has completed a demonstration for
the propulsion system of its zero-emissions power train,
and H3 Dynamics has completed wind tunnel testing of an
experimental long-range unmanned H2
FCEVs comprise a small portion of the global vehicle
market but are showing significant growth propelled by
large-scale deployments in Asia and parts of the U.S. FCEV
market share grew by 70% during 2017-2020, but was
impacted by the downturn following COVID-19. However,
the FCEV market is springing back with record sales in
Korea and California (U.S.). Korea is emerging as the largest
FCEV market following $30,000 in subsidies from local and
national governments. China is emerging as the dominant
player with aggressive deployment of heavy-duty and
commercial FCEVs. Japan was one of the first nations to
commercialize fuel cells and plans to deploy 20,000 fuel cell
vehicles and 320 refueling stations by 2025. Europe has also
announced numerous projects that aim to deploy FCEVs for
heavy-duty trucks. For example, Switzerland has announced
the deployment of 1,600 FCEVs by 2025, while the Port of
Rotterdam and Air Liquide have partnered to deploy 1,000
fuel cell trucks by 2025 and more than 100,000 by 2030.
Two major factors will drive H2
cost competitiveness in
FCEVs. First, delivered fuel costs should decline significantly
FIG. 6. FCEVs and HRS. Source: IEA.
with economies of scale in H2
supply and higher utilization
of infrastructure. Second, fuel cells allow for higher efficiency
than internal combustion engines, thus making better
use of the energy in the fuel. According to IEA data, 51,600
FCEVs are on the road (FIG. 6), with this number to grow
substantially in the short term.
H2 infrastructure and logistics. H2
is particularly challenging. While 1 kg of H2
storage and transport
contains three
times the energy of 1 kg of diesel, 1 kg of H2 takes up 11 m3
of space at sea level. The cost of transport and storage will
play a significant role in the competitiveness of H2
-the cost
of transmission and distribution could be more than three
times that of production, thereby raising the overall cost
of H2
. The development of infrastructure is important to
facilitate manufacturers to expand their reach and capacity,
assisting them in maintaining low prices of clean H2
turn, growing the H2
and, in
market by keeping it cost competitive.
The choice of storage technology also affects the cost
of commercial-scale projects (e.g., in cryogenic liquefaction
and transport, geologic storage, and using ammonia or
ethanol as vector). New R&D initiatives and breakthroughs

H2Tech Market Data 2023

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