Europe Tops US in Hydrogen Stations, But Lags In Hydrogen Vehicle Sales

While Europe has the U.S. beat in hydrogen stations, sales are far behind in an already slight global fuel cell vehicle market.

This is according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory, which devoted its latest newsletter edition to examining Europe’s market. With over 75 operations hydrogen fueling stations, Europe more than doubles the U.S. with its current level being 33, as counted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

That being said, Europe still doesn’t have very many fuel cell vehicles on its roads that need fueling stations. EAFO reports there are about 500 passenger fuel cell cars on European roads with a little bit over 200 of these units sold this year. HybridCar’s Dashboard reported 957 fuel cell vehicles sold in the U.S. through the end of November, with most all of it coming from the Toyota Mirai.

In Europe, the Mirai joined the Hyundai 1×35 FCEV (called the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell in the U.S.) on the market. Next year will see the launch of the Honda Clarity and Mercedes GLC F-Cell. Sales numbers should remain small, but they have grown more than 200 units year over year. EAFO expects sales to grow next year with the addition of new models.

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Germany is the leading market, with nearly 30 percent of all fuel cell passenger cars being registered there. Denmark has been a relatively strong market, too, with its wide network of hydrogen fueling stations. Norway, a country know for attractive clean vehicle incentives, is the third largest fuel cell car market in Europe.

France dominates the fuel cell light commercial vehicle market, with 92 percent of all European registrations or 132 units. Fuel cell buses make up much of that total. These hydrogen-powered buses are expected by EAFO to double from their current level in Europe through 2018.

Demark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and United Kingdom lead the way on hydrogen fueling stations in operation. Europe has been known in recent years for its “hydrogen highway” fuel station projects receiving government backing.

The observatory mentioned that Europe has the Nikola One heavy-duty fuel cell truck to look forward to. It will be available by 2019, and Nikola claims to already have 5,000 pre-orders.

The EAFO report gained input from the European Union’s Hydrogen for Innovative Vehicles (HyFIVE) initiative and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a public private partnership.

EAFO


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