$ 160 billion role for hydrogen fuel cells, according to IDTechEx research

BOSTON, October 11, 2021; The integration of a fuel cell in an electric vehicle powertrain, producing electricity from hydrogen, offers a technological path that enables critical reduction of on-road exhaust emissions while overcoming the potential range and charging limitations of battery electric vehicles (BEV). IDTechEx analysis in its new report, “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2022-2042”, predicts that the market value of fuel cell road vehicles will increase to 160 billion dollars in 2042 at a CAGR of 23.9% over the 20-year forecast period.

The race to decarbonize road vehicles is undoubtedly led by BEVs, but serious concerns remain as to whether BEV solutions can provide the necessary duty cycle for use cases that require significant range, short downtime and high operational flexibility. For example, long haul trucking and high mileage city bus operations.

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.

The main automotive markets, including Japan, Korea, China, Germany, and California are considering the major 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 bench for FCEV in Europe and 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. (see previous IDTechEx article, Fuel Cell Cars: A Commercial Failure). However, the scale of the automotive market and the substantial support for the development of a broader hydrogen economy by governments and companies 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 the FCEV as a low carbon solution. credentials on which they are sold.

Inexpensive gray hydrogen generated from fossil fuels does not make 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.

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 fuel cell deployment 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. Help you navigate whatever awaits you. To learn more, visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/EV.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and advisory products, helping you take advantage of emerging technologies. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

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