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Pike Research forecasts fuel cell vehicle cumulative sales to cross the 1M mark in 2020 with $16.9B in annual revenue

The fuel cell vehicle (FCV) market is now in the ramp-up phase to commercialization, anticipated by automakers to happen around 2015. According to a new report from Pike Research, commercial sales of FCVs will reach 1 million vehicles by 2020, with a cumulative 1.2 million vehicles sold by the end of that year, generating $16.9 billion in annual revenue.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that, during the pre-commercialization period from 2010 to 2014, approximately 10,000 FCVs will be deployed. Following that phase, the firm forecasts that 57,000 FCVs will be sold in 2015, with sales volumes ramping to 390,000 vehicles annually by 2020. While these latest figures represent a downgrade from Pike Research’s previous FCV forecasts, published in the first quarter of 2010, the firm expects a step change in FCV production levels to occur in 2015.

Early sales will be focused on areas where infrastructure investments have been or are being made, such as the United States (primarily California and the New York City region); Germany; Scandinavia; Japan (mainly Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka); South Korea (primarily around Seoul); and Shanghai, China.

The largest market for FCVs will be the Asia Pacific region, which will account for more than half of total worldwide sales in 2020, according to Pike. The most rapid growth, however, will come in Western Europe, where sales with increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 53%.

The limiting factor for the FCV market will be the availability of hydrogen infrastructure. If current plans for station construction are delayed or abandoned, the rollout of FCVs will be similarly pushed back.

—Pike Research senior analyst Lisa Jerram

Early adoption is likely to be focused in Japan, Germany, and California, where there is significant fueling infrastructure planned. Transit buses have also been used as a test bed for fuel cell technology, though they lag somewhat behind cars in the timeframe for commercial viability. Transit fuel cell buses offer zero emissions and low noise operation, as well as greater fuel efficiency than internal combustion engines. Pike Research’s projections are for commercially viable transit buses to follow that of light-duty vehicles (LDVs), with this market more dependent on subsidies or incentives for adoption than the car market.

Based on the current state of battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and conventional hybrids, Pike believes that light-duty fuel cell cars will not see true demand until the following conditions are met:

  • Costs are significantly reduced;
  • Market conditions or regulations place a premium on zero tailpipe emissions or non-petroleum-based fuels; and
  • Hydrogen infrastructure is scaled up to meet the demand of drivers.

These conditions will likely have to happen simultaneously; this is not an “either/or” set of conditions. The major exception to that ultimatum is cost. Should fuel cell vehicles reach cost parity with diesel-hybrid models, demand could be significantly higher, thereby spurring greater investment in infrastructure.

...In the first two ears of early commercial production phase, deployments will likely be more supply-driven than demand-driven. Consequently, up to 2016, the FCV market will probably only be in the tens of thousands. Pike Research anticipates this phase will resemble the current controlled rollout of BEVs. Automakers will initially be conservative with production numbers as they determine true consumer demand. After the initial rollout, however, production numbers may see a dramatic uptick based on demand.

—Fuel Cell Vehicles

Pike Research’s report, “Fuel Cell Vehicles”, analyzes opportunities and challenges in the development of commercially viable fuel cell cars, buses, and trucks. The report provides an examination of the key market drivers and barriers for FCV development in the face of competition from incumbent internal combustion engine vehicles and new plug-in electric vehicles. The report includes a status update on the progress of fuel cell R&D toward meeting commercial technical and cost targets for cars and buses. The report also covers key countries’ policies promoting development and adoption of FCVs, strategies and plans of major industry players, and discussion of the vehicle segments and drivetrain configurations under development.

The report forecasts global pre-commercial deployments of LDVs and buses through 2014, global commercial sales of LDVs and buses from 2015 through 2020, and potential revenue from fuel cell LDVs from 2015 through 2020.



No single comercial FC automobile is available for purchase, no single newclear reactor generatin hydrogen and infrastructure hundred years away-for god sake how they can predict 1 milion in 2020. I predict no more than 1 milion FC VEHICLES in 2040.


Should fuel cell vehicles reach cost parity with diesel-hybrid models, demand could be significantly higher, thereby spurring greater investment in infrastructure.

How silly. They miss the bleeding obvious. FCV's will have to compete primarily with BEV's. Whether they can do that is a big question mark.

In 2015 the 2nd generation LEAF will be launched and Tesla will be ready with their bluestar and there will be a lot more in the showrooms from every manufacturer.

Once people are spoilt with the convenience of home charging (and consequently hardly ever having to visit a gas station), a vehicle with limited refuelling options will seem very unattractive.


I said to start selling fuelcell cars and suv's right away, it will sold if they put some for sale. Consumers prefer fuelcell vehicle over bad experiment like the leaf, tesla, volt and fisker karma. It will sale if they sell near where hydrogen station are already build like los-angeles and germany. No more excuses for these faint at harth that need constant subsidies, stop any expenditures toward toyota, gm, ford, chrysler, honda, mercedes, volkwagen, etc, till they start selling these hydrogen fuelcell, no more 1% economy(petrol). Start selling green car that run on non-polluting hydrogen gas or die, no more waiting and endless studies.

Bob Wallace

OK, AD, tell us how we get non-polluting hydrogen at an affordable price. Right now we're making it from natural gas and that puts carbon into the atmosphere. We could make it from renewable energy, but that would be very expensive.

Much more efficient to use that renewable energy in a Leaf or Volt.

And find us someone who can make a fuel cell car at an affordable price.

It's economics. Someone has to be able to make and fuel a fuel cell car with CO2 free hydrogen in order to make fuel cell transportation a player. Perhaps it will happen. Hasn't happened yet.


A D,
For today hydrogen is much more CO2 poluting, than gasolin, diesel, natural gas or electricity. The hydrogen could have 0 carbon footprint in case produced electrochemicaly by solar cells instead of electricity, or by electricity generarted by wind farms which would be much more expensive than producing simply green solar or wind electricity. There is thermochemical method separation of hydrogen (like it hapened in Fukushima) producing hydrogen from water at high temperature. IV generation high temperature future nuclear reactors shall do that. And that could hapen on mas scale not earlear than 2040. So before that FC and hydrogen enegywise is simply stupidity. I wander why GreenCarcongress publishing so many articles about hydrogen FC. Another issue is natural gas, methanol, ethanol or even diesel and gasoline FC. That would be very interessting range extending option for EREV.


I SAID to start selling hydrogen cars and suv's, is it clear now. They already have been tested o.k. Ok??...
No more guessing from empty heads.


All this does is prove once again that the eco-nitwits never learn a damn thing.

It also reminds you what the first thing any Consultant quickly learns, which is the "proper answer" sought by his paying client; and makes sure his Report/Study will say exactly that.

Talk to me when a FCEV can be sold for less than a few hundred thousand dollars per vehicle. FCEVs are subsidized excesses like the EV-1, of 25 years ago, technological "Tour de Forcees", with no prospect of econm0omuic viability.

They are created to satisfy the CARBite idiots and their Gold quotas mandating FCEVs, on the automobile industry. But the auto companies, foreign and domestic, are gathering the gumption to face down the CARBites, now knowing that the California auto market will NEVER be denied to them, by those Eco-nitwits.

If the VOLT is criticized for being too expensive, when it is $5000 more than a conventional ICE auto, and its fuels are as widely available as electricity and gasoline are, what pray tell are these FCEV LOONs smoking?

With the US down to only two counties across the Country not meeting the endemic targets for Clean Air, after forty years of hard effort, the days of these eco-nitwits are just about over.


There is a lot of madscientists here that always say not before 2015 or any other dates ??? First the laws of physics are still the same as 2011 years ago , LOL. Now what have you to say ? The only laws of physics that change are the dates not the materials, materials have no brains and act always the same. Just empty heads rely on dates and evolution to have something to say. this is a website of madscientists subsidized by pure communism.


A D,

Laws of phisics and chemistry (secondary school program) say that hydrogen is not energy source it is just energy storage media similar to electric batery. There is no pure hydrogen undergraund or somwere else. Laws of phisics say, that the same amout of energy you spend separating water to the hydrogen and oxigen, the same amout of energy you will get burning hydrogen and geting water again MINUS LOSSES (more than 50%).


ROLF. If you believe this, I can sell you shares of EESTOR for real cheap.


There are WAY to many similar characteristics between "A D" and a guy who posts as "gorr" over on ABG.

The same medication enhanced nonsense with almost exactly the same grammar (depending on today's meds I guess), and EXACTLY the same mistaken idea that hydrogen is an energy source rather than an energy carrier and EXACTLY the same belief that hydrogen is waiting to be dug up somewhere out of the ground or spewing out of some rock somewhere.

Seriously, is that you gorr???


They have tried to make FC cars for thirty+ years and the unit costs are still too embarrassingly high to print.

Roger Pham

Folks, please be reminded that it's the major auto mfg's who are releasing FCV's commercially by 2015. They pretty much have the technology figured out.

As for H2 filling infrastructure, all you'll need is an electrical line, an electrolyzer (low-cost, non-platinum), and storage tank. For stationary H2 storage, much cheaper steel tank with aluminum liner can be used instead of carbon fiber. With high-pressure electrolyzer, you don't even need power-robbing compressors. High-pressure H2 is already delivered by the electrolyzer. H2 filling station can be automated and be put on every petrol station quite cost-effectively. The H2 will be refilled by itself from the electrolyzer without requiring any delivery truck. This is a lot easier to maintain than a petrol station.

Solar PV panel prices have recently approached the 1Euro/W barrier.

Imagine that the roof-tops around the H2 filling stations are covered with cheap PV panels feeding the electrolyzers with DC current requiring no expensive power inverter! H2 from solar energy can be produced at costs well below petrol per imagine a FCV having 3x the efficiency of a conventional ICE vehicle!

The future for Green Vehicles and Renewabe energy suddenly looks real good!


Why not just use PV pannels for electricity generation more efficiently and use for EREV motion? What is rationality behind transforming electricity into hydrogen?



The laws of physics tell us that FC and H2 economy is a joke, just a scam perpetuated by oil companies who don't want to see EVs taking off.

EVs cars despite the penalty of the weight of the batteries can have sport car performances like Tesla has already demonstrated. Nothing that FC has shown yet.

being said I don't think EV will be main stream in 2020 you need breakthrough in battery technology for that


As i can see only roger pham has something great to say with real insights. This is because he think by himself instead of analysing and digesting the informations given by petrol reselling folks that are millions here on earth. Did you realize that hydrogen machinery can be installed almost everywhere with few cost about 10x less then petrol machineries. Did you realize that it cost next to nothing to produce and store a little quantity of hydrogen and that it don't do pollution on manufacturing and consumption contrary to petrol that do pollution from extracting up to consumption. Millions of jobs will be loss when hydrogen start to replace petrol because it's not labor intensive, that's why so much peoples scream to death when they hear hydrogen. Many faint at heart have succombed to the petrol lobby here in that website.

Roger Pham

Storage, much easier to store H2 than to store electricity.

Wanna make a bet?

Roger Pham

Agree with A D.
For storage, H2 only cost $5/kWh per storage capacity, whereas battery Lithium costs ~$400 or more per kWh of capacity. Compressed H2 storage can be cycled 10,000 times without loss of capacity. LiFePO4 battery loses 20% of capacity after 2000 cycles.
Battery loses energy by 5-10% per month, so not good for seasonal storage.


With wheel to well efficiencies the wrong side of 10% for conventional ice, and falling owing to peak oil,
EV's not much better but rising owing to renewables replacing coal. Yet H2 is demonstrably worse and directionless owing to hopeless conversion costs and no infrastructure solutions let alone vehicle cost and R&D
that may one day find answers that will require a similar infrastructure to the existing oil ice as well as battery charging and 'E-light' storage solutions.

Clearly this desirable technology has the most unsolved obstacles the answers to which are always reliant on some number of "future breakthru's" ie thorium or some other over the horizon technology.

How about a more realistic limited application utilization in enclosed environments, where H2 supplies already exist and in research and development applications - much as exists today. ie No change by 2020.



I don't know where you get your cost structure but all pilot experiement with bus powered by H2 have clearly shown that the cost of H2 as a source of energy is just horrendous and most of this pilot experiment have been phased out for this reasons.

end of the strory


No problem to take a bet, we have never seen a transition in the energy sector like moving from petrol to EV taking place in a decade, and it won't happen this time again, batteries are not ready for a decade transition. So I can bet and sleep tight

Bob Wallace

Now, I'm no expert on all this. I gathered up some stuff around the web in an attempt to put some numbers in play. If someone has better numbers please put up a revised version.


It takes about 1 kg of hydrogen to replace 1 U.S. gallon of
gasoline. About 200 MJ (55 kWh) of dc electricity are
needed to liberate 1 kg of hydrogen from 9 kg of water by

The electricity needed to compress the hydrogen will equal 20% of the energy stored in the hydrogen. If a gallon of gas contains the energy equivalence of 36.6kWh then that's another 7.3kWh, a total of 62.3kWh of electricity required to get a "gas gallon" of hydrogen ready to use.

The efficiency of fuel cell cars is 40% to 60%.

Assuming no other inefficiencies in the system you've got a car with ~2x the efficiency of a ICEV. Say, 80 miles on your "gallon of hydrogen".

You used 62.3kWh to get that hydrogen in your tank. A Leaf uses 0.35kWh per mile. You could drive about 180 miles if you just used the electricity directly and didn't go through the hydrogen storage process.


OK, someone got better numbers or spot my dumb mistake(s)?


Making hydrogen in central locations and trying to power it with solar panels on the surrounding roofs is not going to work. Unless you have few customers per filling station there's not going to be enough roof space.


Battery/EV prices will fall. EV batteries are not full of some expensive exotic materials. Cost is largely an economy of scale issue.

We've not seen, as far as I know, any prices for a FCV that one could buy at their local dealer. I'll be surprised if they come to market cheaper than EVs.

I would imagine that oil companies would like to see us move to FCVs because they could control the supply. EVs cut big oil out of the picture. People might think about that as they read the numerous anti-EV articles/surveys that are showing up so often in our media.

Not saying that big oil is behind the anti-EV pieces, but it does make some go hummmmm...........


Not to question anyones numbers or offer any myself as they are all over the shop depending on source.

In using <10% for oil ice I am using the oft quoted 2 to 1 figure for the provision of gasoline ET all as the carbon footprint including drill transport and refining etc.
When H2 is discussed one needs to consider the cost (I would use CO2 again as the most prevalent energy source is coal still) of energy. This is generally considered as less than oil but with power station efficiencies in a 60% range. Power transmission can waste from ~20 - 60% (Quoted). Often considered as not better than oil when large amounts (coal powered)
This is the reasoning behind the loss of half our energy as measured by carbon footprint for E-volts delivered.
We then have (your number ~ 30%) conversion And then 20% compression followed by boil off not to mention the monetary costs in storage and transport.

That must be before the cell losses that should be measured similarly to ICE (~ 25% average for fleet) F.Cell ~ 60% Still at a disadvantage. Still reliant on Big (any) supply control and profit margins etc.
F.C. seems a long way from answering many of the above questions.
By the time the questions are solved, the same benefits will apply to battery (open source) options.Hard to see it catching up during the current paradigm.


it is notorious that the well to wheel efficiency of H2 based solutions is terrible, and asides would require humongous amount of fresh water by the way. H2 is a vector of energy is an idea of big oil because big oil want to stay in control of the fuel we put in our cars, don't look further than that. There is no economical justification for a H2 economy. last but not least keep in mind that FC powered cars need big batteries since FC lack of power in general, so batteries are needed as buffers.


We're in the eighth year of the Bush 'Hydrogen Initiative'(and second decades of "mission accomplished" wars.

Fuel car cars are ALWAYS a few years and $billion dollar grants away.

Meanwhile, etc..


There are realy only a few simple factors.

1 How spendy wll h2 be when they supply it at the pump.. answer less so then gas per mile driven. They KNOW this.. THIS is why mass transit is looking into h2 busses.. It WILL be cheaper per mile then fossil fuel before long.

2 How much fuel can the vehicle carry? New low cost high strength carbon fiber tanks make 10k psi much MUCH cheaper then before and various storage media added inside the tanks can increase capacity even further. They are already talking about cars with 6-7 12 kg of h2 onboard... Even 6 kg run through a current gen fuel cell nets 110 or so kwh of storage.

3 How cheap will the car be... they already KNOW they can reach 50k per car by 2015 several makers know they can do this.. not too long after that they also know they can reach price parity with a fossil fueled car specialy as co2 limits and other limits jack up the price of normal cars...

4 How long does it last... they already have fuel cells that last 60000 hours of use... thats a bloody lot.. they have fuel cells for cars that already last 7000 hours... In simple terms by 2025 they will have fuel cells that outlast the car.

Right now the only question is what parts of the market will be filled by evs what parts will be filled by fuel cells and what parts will need something else. There is NO question both evs and fuel cells will be there in number.

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