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DOE fuel cell technologies report finds largest growth in capacity in 2016 occurred in transportation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) released a new report documenting growth and opportunities in the fuel cell industry. Findings of this year’s Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report position stationary power, backup power, and material handling equipment as some of the largest current markets.

However, transportation and energy storage are showing strength as emerging sectors for hydrogen and fuel cells with approximately 62,000 fuel cells and 500 MW in fuel cell power shipped worldwide in 2016— more than double the capacity of shipments in megawatts compared to 2014. The largest growth in capacity—nearly triple—occurred in the transportation sector, and that growth can be attributed to the introduction and expansion of fuel cell light-duty vehicles from Japan and Korea to new regions around the world, including in the United States.

Megawatts of fuel cells shipped worldwide by application. Source: US DOE FCTO, E4 Tech. Click to enlarge.

Industry revenues in the emerging fuel cell industry topped $1.6 billion in 2016 alone.

The Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report examines global fuel cell and hydrogen activities during 2016, covering business and financial activities, federal programs, and aspects of the various market sectors for fuel cells which include transportation, stationary power, and portable power.

The report also examines 2016 activities related to hydrogen production, power-to-gas, energy storage, and components used by fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. The report was compiled and written by Sandra Curtin and Jennifer Gangi of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, in Washington, D.C.

The report notes that a major development in 2016 was the introduction of the third commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, in Japan, California, the U.K. and Denmark. The Clarity Fuel Cell joined two other commercial FCEVs, the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, which have cumulatively sold or leased more than 1,000 units in the US and nearly 3,000 worldwide through late 2016.

Other transportation applications such as buses and material handling also contributed to the increase in shipments.

In 2016, China emerged as a leading customer for fuel cell buses, with more than 30 deployed or ordered throughout the year.



"Tripling in the two tears to 2016"

sounds impressive but to keep things in perspective we could go to the report and see:

The report states that cumulative U.S. sales or leases to feb 2017 is 1600 cars -LCV's and the largest customer for buses- China has 30 in service or ordered in 2016.

Plainly the promotion by gov't led backers is in full swing and determined but we are a very long way from an operational and validated consumer market.

This projection for global cumulative sales.

"Cumulatively, over 22.2 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles be sold or leased worldwide by 2032"

compared to a reported U.S. only...

"in 2013, there were almost 129 million registered passenger cars."

And global car sales in one year (2017) of 78.5 million.


When the base is small the growth looks large.
"Lies, damned lies and statistics" - Twain


This is just the beginning of the H2 era and FCs/FCEVs.

Much better ways will be found to extract/produce, compress and transport lower cost clean H2 by 2025/2030 or so?


It will happen or it won't, mislead people is not going to help.


BEVs started 120+ years ago.

They will soon reach 1% of the market and may reach 5% by 2030/2032 depending on the cost and performance of new batteries. The arrival of 4X batteries at $50/kWh would make a great difference.

Practical limited production FCEVs started about 2 years ago and they will probably NOT reach 1% of the market before 2030 or so or 5% by 2040 or so. The availability and cost of H2 are important factors. Clean H2 at $3.50/Kg would make a great difference.

Those two different technologies are not easy to compare. Both may find their own niche.

Mary Miller

The report was compiled and written by Sandra Curtin and Jennifer Gangi of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, in Washington, D.C. bullet force

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