IDTechEx’s analysis in its new report, “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2022-2042,” predicts the market value of fuel cell road vehicles to reach $ 160 billion by 2042 at a CAGR of 23.9% over the 20-year forecast period.

The effort to decarbonise road vehicles is undoubtedly led by BEVs; However, serious concerns remain as to whether BEV solutions can provide the necessary duty cycle for use cases that require long runtime, short downtime, and high operational flexibility – long haul trucking and operations. high-mileage city buses, for example.

In such applications, a huge battery of over 500 kWh will be required to reliably deliver over 350 km of range on a single charge, and a full recharge, even with super-fast chargers of 350 kW, will take time. This becomes an even greater challenge in a depot situation, where megawatts of power are required. Hyundai’s XCIENT heavy fuel cell truck offers a range of approximately 400 km, with a 73 kWh Li-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell system, requiring less than 20 minutes to refuel.

The growing momentum for a rapid transition to zero-emission vehicles, combined with a real need for autonomy comparable to diesel powertrains and rapid refueling, means that major automotive players like Toyota, Hyundai, GM and Daimler continue to inject millions into fuel cell improvements. system technology and reduce costs.

Major automotive markets, including Japan, Korea, China, Germany and California, anticipate significant deployment of fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs).

Germany has already built around 100 hydrogen refueling stations (HRS), offering a capacity of 40,000 passenger cars, although their current fleet is less than 1,000. Germany provides a test bed for the FCEV in Europe and will challenge the claim that the lack of hydrogen infrastructure is to blame for the lack of adoption of the FCEV. Relatively small fleets of heavy FCEVs could provide sufficient hydrogen demand to sustainably operate an HRS.

Compared to cars, the value proposition for fuel cell trucks and buses is stronger, and IDTechEx does not expect fuel cell cars to be a commercial success compared to battery electric cars. . However, the scale of the automotive market and the substantial support for the development of a broader hydrogen economy by governments and businesses in key regions mean that IDTechEx predicts that by 2042, 60.3% of the company’s revenue. The on-road FCEV market will come from the passenger car market. .

Fuel cell manufacturers will take advantage of the volume of the automotive market to reduce costs in other sectors where technology is more critical.

Indeed, the deployment of the FCEV faces considerable challenges, including reducing the cost of fuel cell system components to reduce the up-front cost of the vehicle, while deploying sufficient hydrogen refueling infrastructure to make the driving of fuel efficient. ‘a viable FCEV. The availability of inexpensive green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water using renewable electricity, which analysis in the IDTechEx report highlights, will also be critical to the legitimacy of FCEV as a solution to low carbon emission. on which they are sold.

The cheap gray hydrogen generated from fossil fuels makes little sense as a low-emission transportation fuel because the well-to-wheel emissions footprint of an FCEV using gray hydrogen2 offers only marginal CO2 savings compared to modern diesel vehicles.

GCO IDTechEx estimate2/ km emission for different truck powertrains. Source: IDTechEx


The new IDTechEx report, “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2022-2042,” explores the current state of fuel cell vehicle development for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks and city buses. The report discusses the technical and economic aspects of the deployment of fuel cells in these different transportation applications and presents IDTechEx’s independent 20-year outlook for the future of fuel cell vehicles.

This report is part of IDTechEx’s broader mobility research portfolio, which tracks electric vehicle adoption, battery trends, range and demand on land, sea and air.


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