Investments in low-carbon hydrogen bring hope for fuel cell vehicles, says IDTechEx

BOSTON, November 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The race to decarbonise road vehicles is undoubtedly being led by battery electric powertrains. However, the higher energy density of fuel cell systems, compared to current lithium-ion battery systems, means that they can offer greater range for the same system weight. Greater range, combined with considerably faster refueling times than battery charging, has led many to suggest that fuel cell vehicles are the zero-emissions solution for long-range applications, especially long-haul trucks. distance. The IDTechEx report ‘Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2022-2042’ investigates the current state of fuel cell vehicle development for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks and city buses, and the report discusses the potential of the technology in these roadside markets. .

In the truck market, there are several fuel cell models being tested, with companies such as Hyundai, Toyota, Nikola, Hyzon and Daimler looking to implement the technology in the not too distant future. In the passenger car market, Toyota and Hyundai remain the only manufacturers to offer series production FCEVs, with their Mirai and Nexo models respectively. There is much work underway to improve the design of fuel cell systems for automotive applications, but arguably the biggest challenge for future sales growth is not the technical feasibility of fuel cell electric vehicle design, but the availability of hydrogen fuel and refueling infrastructure. The lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure has hampered the deployment of fuel cell vehicles for at least the last decade. However, several regions, including JapanKorea, Germany, CaliforniaY Porcelainthey are supporting initiatives to build hydrogen filling station infrastructure that could see this change.

Today, the hydrogen fuel used in transportation is primarily gray hydrogen produced by reforming methane with natural gas steam, which IDTechEx analysis shows offers very limited CO2 at best.two reduction of emissions on modern combustion engines. Several recent announcements have been made about financial support to produce low-carbon blue and green hydrogen. In September 2022EU approved $5.2 billion in public funding for green hydrogen projects, and the US announced plans for a $7 billion investment to establish up to ten regional hydrogen centers. However, at this stage, neither the cheap renewable energy generation resource required to produce cheap green hydrogen nor the carbon capture and storage technologies required for blue hydrogen have been demonstrated at a scale that can deliver low-carbon hydrogen with a pump price competitive with diesel. gasoline or electric charge. Development efforts are likely to take considerable time and require significant investment.

Fuel cell vehicles are attracting attention, but they are currently expensive to buy, expensive to operate, and the hydrogen fueling and refueling infrastructure is not widely available to support them. And while fuel cell powertrains currently have a range advantage, the continued wait for a viable point of commercial implementation means that rapidly improving battery powertrains are eroding this advantage. The long-range niche for fuel cell vehicles will continue to shrink as more is waited for cost-effective, low-carbon hydrogen fuel and infrastructure. 2023 is likely to be a difficult year for fuel cell vehicles, with high gasoline prices around the world leading to high prices for gray hydrogen.

For more information, the IDTechEx report ‘Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2022-2042’ presents an independent 20-year outlook for fuel cell passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks and city buses, forecasting unit sales. , the demand for fuel cells and the market value. . The report analyzes the technical and economic aspects of fuel cell deployment in these different transportation applications.

The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles report is part of IDTechEx’s broader research portfolio, which tracks fuel cell and electric vehicle adoption, battery trends, range, and mobility trends on land, sea, and air, helping you navigate what may be to come. Learn more at

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