The global electric vehicle fuel cell market size was valued at US$ 3.2 billion in 2020 and predicted to hit around US$ 16.3 billion by 2030, growing at a 40% of CAGR from 2021 to 2030.
The major influencers for the growth of the market are the strict norms for carbon emissions, increasing adoption of electric vehicles in emerging economies, longer drive range offered by these vehicles, and growing need for better fuel efficiency. Rapidly changing technology landscape is providing robust growth opportunities to the FCEV industry. Advancements in the field of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) technology allow fuel cells to operate at a lower temperature and offer a quick start to FCEVs, contributing to the market growth trends. The high costs and initial investments associated with fuel cell electric vehicles are one of the prominent factors restricting the market growth. The incorporation of advanced technologies and high cost components into FCEVs increases the risks of failures and adds to maintenance and repair costs. Market players are currently focusing on reducing the initial costs of fuel cell electric vehicles by introducing low-end variants for targeting a broad customer base. Further reductions in the cost of critical components such as batteries will minimize the impacts of the industry challenges.
Technological Advancements for Improved Range and Efficiency Are Major Trends
Fuel cell vehicles have gained popularity in recent years as a result of their improved performance, shorter refueling time, and longer range. Other than these advantages and reduced emissions, the technology results in superior power and higher torque. Furthermore, a fuel cell vehicle has a driving range of 300 to 380 miles. Moreover, recent catalyst developments are key for the future of the fuel cell technology, as they will improve durability through innovative catalyst layer designs. Thus, the continuous technological advancements in the fuel cell technology can be viewed as a major trend in the market for fuel cell electric vehicle.
Stringent Carbon Emission Norms and Rising Adoption of Zero-Emission Vehicles To Drive Market for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Stringent carbon emission regulations, including those with respect to fuel efficiency, implemented at the international and country levels continue to drive the growth of the fuel cell electric vehicle market. The mounting concerns over carbon dioxide emissions globally are leading to the reducing demand for conventional vehicles, ultimately benefiting the market for fuel cell electric vehicle. For instance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasizes the usage of FCEVs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the European Union is dedicated to reducing vehicular emissions by 80% by the year 2050 from the 1990 levels, by promoting the adoption of green vehicles.
By Product, the automotive segment valued at US$ 680 million in 2020 and is poised to register over 39% growth rate through 2030 propelled by the increasing demand for low emissions and low-noise mobility solutions. Supportive government initiatives such as subsidies offered on the purchase of FCEVs are driving the adoption of electric cars and bikes powered by fuel cells. Moreover, market leaders are launching low-cost hydrogen-powered electric passenger cars to attract consumers.
Based on vehicle type, the passenger vehicle category held the larger share in the fuel cell electric vehicle market in 2020. This can be attributed to the rising per capita income in the developing markets, high demand for clean personal mobility, and stringent government norms to curb vehicular pollution. Moreover, many countries are planning the conversion of taxi and cab fleets into FCEVs. For instance, South Korea is targeting to deploy approximately 120,000 fuel cell vehicles by the end of 2040.
Based on distance type, the short category is projected to witness the faster growth in the market during the forecasted period. This can be attributed to the rising demand for low-emission vehicles for short-distance travel or commuting. Moreover, such vehicles are being increasingly used across diverse applications, including transportation of goods within ports and airports and by e-commerce companies to reduce their carbon footprint, which renders a positive market outlook.
The presence of stringent government regulations is one of the main factors responsible for the fastest growth of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market for fuel cell electric vehicle, globally. In addition, the major countries in the region have been investing heavily for the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Toyota Motor Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company offer fuel cell passenger cars, buses, and logistical vehicles in the region.
Key players operating in the market include Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Hyundai Motor Group, Audi AG, Volkswagen, and SAIC Motor Corporation Limited. Other prominent players include Ballard Power Systems, LLC, Meritor, Inc., US Hybrid, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Hydrogenics, Sunrise Power Co. Ltd., Dana Limited, Plug Power, Inc., Shanghai Shenli Technology Co. Ltd. and Ceres Power Holdings Plc.
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