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The fuel cell vehicle market is in the midst of ramping up to commercialization.
As such, the market appears fairly quiet, with annual sales well under 500 in 2011 and in 2012.
However, much needs to happen behind the scenes for the industry to meet 2015 commercialization targets for light duty fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Automakers planning to meet that 2015 target are in the process of engineering out costs and optimizing performance, and a few forward-looking governments are preparing the infrastructure and regulatory environment needed for commercial FCVs.
Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and the Nordic countries have taken the lead, with a variety of “H2Mobility” programs.
The United States has fallen out of the leadership spot, although the state of California continues to make preparations.
The biggest challenge for automakers will be reaching sufficient volume to bring down system and balance of plant costs – which is leading several automakers, including Daimler, to form technology partnerships.
The transit bus market also needs high volume to bring down costs. Europe continues to lead on fuel cell bus deployments, but annual orders are still well under 100, and the market needs to reach 1,000 orders annually to see significant cost reductions.
Finally, the global scooter market is in the millions, and fuel cells continue to be developed in an effort to capture some of that market.
Navigant Research published a report titled “Fuel Cell Vehicles” in which it forecasts that worldwide sales of FCVs will reach the 1,000 mark in 2015 and then begin a period of strong growth, surpassing 2 million vehicles annually by 2030.
This Navigant Research report outlines in detail the state of policies and programs that will support FCV deployment and the commercialization plans of the major industry players. The report examines the state of technology in reaching application cost targets, and profiles innovative startups that could disrupt the market. The report also details conditions in three major emerging bus markets (Brazil, China, and India) and provides a long-term forecast for fuel cell light duty vehicles, buses, and scooters, segmented by region, through 2030.