According to a report from Pike Research, cumulative sales of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) will surpass the million-unit milestone by 2020, with total sales hitting 1.2 million by the end of that year. Pike indicates that, between 2010 to 2014, approximately 10,000 FCVs will hit the streets. Following that, the research firm claims that 57,000 FCVs will be sold in 2015, with sales soaring to 390,000 vehicles annually by 2020.

In its report, Pike points out that some individuals may be surprised by the fact that fuel cell use in passenger cars is still being pursued by numerous automakers, stating:
Fuel cell vehicles are facing serious competition in the "zero emissions vehicle" space from pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs). BEVs have made a comeback after experiencing their own "trough of disappointment" in the late 1990s. Ironically, this state of affairs led to the initial enthusiasm over fuel cells. When the BEV market failed to take off in the late 1990s, regulators and automakers shifted their attention to fuel cells.
Pike Research senior analyst, Lisa Jerram, says that:
Automakers such as Toyota, Daimler, GM, Honda, and Hyundai have all said that fuel cells are a critical piece of a complete clean vehicle portfolio. With fuel cells, they see the opportunity to offer a zero-emissions car with a 300-mile range in the larger vehicle platforms.
For passenger vehicles, fuel cells offer the benefits of zero emissions operation without the range limitations of battery-only vehicles, according to Pike. Those advantages, Pike says, have driven an estimated $4-billion in investments aimed at overcoming the challenges that stand in the way of commercially viable FCVs.

[Source: Pike Research via Green Car Congress]
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Fuel Cell Vehicle Sales to Cross the 1 Million Mark in 2020

April 19, 2011

Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are part of the continuum of electric drive technologies, which are projected to capture an increasingly large share of the global passenger car and transit bus markets. For the passenger car market, fuel cells offer the benefits of zero emissions operation without the range and charging limitations of pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The fuel cell car 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 the key milestone of 1 million vehicles by 2020, with a cumulative 1.2 million vehicles sold by the end of that year.

"The fact that fuel cells for passenger cars are still being pursued may come as a surprise to casual observers of the clean vehicle technology arena," says senior analyst Lisa Jerram. "However, automakers such as Toyota, Daimler, GM, Honda, and Hyundai have all said that fuel cells are a critical piece of a complete clean vehicle portfolio. With fuel cells, they see the opportunity to offer a zero-emissions car with a 300-mile range in the larger vehicle platforms."

Jerram adds that, to meet the 2015 commercialization target, automakers will need to spend the next few years validating performance and reducing costs. 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.

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. These figures represent a downgrade from Pike Research's previous FCV forecasts published in the first quarter of 2010.

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. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.

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