Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of electric drive vehicles, and these vehicles have entered commercialization phase. With zero emission capability, these vehicles represent the future of the automobile.
Close to 2,500 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were sold or leased in 2016, representing a three-fold increase compared to 2015. While the numbers in terms of sales and leases are still miniscule compared to the market, they represent a trend that portends well for the future of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
With only three major competitors in the market, Toyota generated over 80 percent in sales in 2016. Hyundai had second highest sales, followed by Honda. The market will become more competitive as Mercedes-Benz rollouts out a fuel cell vehicle in the second half of 2017, followed by several other automakers over the next few years.
Current customers of these vehicles include vehicle fleets, government agencies, and early adopters. Until a critical mass of customers is reached in the 2020’s, the market will remain confined to early adopters and affluent segments of society.
The following developments point to a bright future for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles:
By 2020, sufficient hydrogen fueling infrastructures will be in place in several regions of the world, giving an initial boost to the market for these vehicles. As fueling infrastructures further expand during the 2020’s, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will begin to garner even greater market acceptance.
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