Research, a market research and consulting firm that focuses on
global clean technology markets, conducted
a study that predicts 670,000 fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) will
sell annually by 2020.
auto companies are still focusing their development on electric
vehicles (EVs), and as many other
surveys indicate, the growth of electric vehicles are expected to
surpass fuel cell vehicles. However, Pike Research's study goes
against the grain saying otherwise. According to the study, the
U.S. will account for 134,049 annual FCV sales of the total 670,000,
putting them in the lead for fuel cell vehicle sales. China will be
in second place with 129,241 FCV sales and Germany will be in third
place with 126,783 total annual sales.
believe these are "overly optimistic" results and that Pike
Research is assuming that the appropriate refueling infrastructures
will be available by 2020. According to fuel cell industry analyst
Dave Hurst, "The entire growth of the fuel cell vehicle market
balances on two key elements: the growth
of hydrogen gas refueling stations and improvements in the
improvements of fuel cells is in the works, the possible growth of
hydrogen gas refueling stations is here. Currently, there is only one
personal, zero-emission refueling station for FCV's that runs on
sunshine and tap water. It's called a residential hydrogen refueler,
and the only one that exists is hidden on the Torrance campus
of Honda R&D.
hydrogen refueler uses a 6-kilowatt array of thin-film cell
solar panels that "powers a machine the size of a
mini-refrigerator," which then "sips in H20 and breaks it
apart into hydrogen and oxygen gases." Next, the hydrogen is
pumped into the vehicle right at home with no fossil fuels or
Fuel Manager for American Honda Motor Co. Steve Ellis says that "the
ability to refuel a vehicle at home ranks third among the values
consumers see of owning an electric vehicle," and "saw the
same possibility could exist for hydrogen."
residential hydrogen refueler is 25 percent more energy efficient
than the electrolysis system Honda designed in 2001, and instead of
operating with a mechanical compressor or storage tanks, it'll only
require solar panels that fit the size of an average American roof.
In addition, the refueler can "support typical driving habits,
about 10,000 miles per year."
says it could take about five years before consumer's will see these
systems on the road. Manufacturers such as Daimler and Shell signed
an agreement in September acknowledging this five-year prediction. In
addition, General Motors,
Honda, Toyota, Mercedes and
some other automakers have noted that they plan to sell FCV's to
soon as 2015.
five-year production goal and a potential growing infrastructure
makes Pike Research's figures seem more reasonable.