Federal and local governments have been proactively funding fuel cell technology and in the medium term, there would be rigorous developments in fuel cell technology, standardization of production and storage of hydrogen, and ramping up of the mammoth task of building hydrogen infrastructure.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of Global Market for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, finds that the global market for fuel cell electric vehicles is expected to be around 120,000 vehicles by 2015.
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The FCEV market has just kicked off, with Honda leasing FCX to consumer fleets, and would be limited to regions that are rich in hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen-fuelling stations, which are expected to expand around 2015, will trigger pre commercial technology refinement and low-volume production around that time. Only post 2016 can we expect a ramp up of production, leading to mass commercialization.
“Stringent environmental regulations, increased environmental concerns among consumers, and growing tax incentives are major factors accelerating the development of FCEVs,” notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Anjan Hemanth Kumar. “The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) has advised 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for the 2020 fleet of passenger cars, which is estimated to 95 g/km of CO2 emission.”
On the incentive front, various producer and consumer tax incentives are developed for FCEVs in Japan and Europe. The U.S Government offers fuel cell motor vehicle credit of $8,000 for light-duty vehicles until 2009 and $4,000 there after. Tax credits are to be introduced when the fuel cell passenger vehicles are made available.
However, the high cost of FCEV technology, due to stacks, battery, and electric drive train, remains a significant restraint to its development. The platinum-based catalyst employed in the stacks is mainly responsible for the high material costs of FCEV and consumers will initially have to pay a premium on the FCEV to cover the high production cost and the capital on R&D.
“Furthermore, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and research institutes have still not found a viable means of economic hydrogen production,” says Kumar. “Hydrogen can be compressed to one-tenth of its volume in cryogenic liquid state but there are boil off issues at a temperature -250 degree Celsius or at a pressure of 700 bars in gaseous state.”
Strategic Analysis of Global Market for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Assessment of European Passenger Electric Vehicles Market and Strategic Assessment for European market for Micro, Mild and Full Hybrids. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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Strategic Analysis of Global Market for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles