The global fuel cell vehicle market is expected to witness notable growth during 2019–2024 on account of the growing implementation of stringent emission norms with respect to vehicular pollution and the increasing government initiatives to encourage the adoption of fuel cell vehicles across the world. The growing concern over rising pollution levels is resulting in a shift from conventional fuel to green fuel technologies. Moreover, higher fuel efficiency and improved driving range associated with fuel cell technology are driving the market for these vehicles, globally.
On the basis of vehicle type, the fuel cell vehicle market can be classified into passenger and commercial vehicles. Between the two, the commercial vehicles category is expected to register faster growth during the forecast period. This is because fuel cell offers greater mileage than conventional fuel, which further encourages its adoption more in long-haul commercial vehicles. Thus, fuel cell enables commercial vehicles to run greater distance without the need for refueling. Moreover, hydrogen fuel is much lighter than conventional fuel, which further makes commercial trucks and buses lighter.
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During the historical period, North America, led by the U.S., dominated the fuel cell vehicle market globally, wherein the country alone held over 50.0% share in the total vehicle sales in 2018. The U.S. government’s support for new energy vehicles, complemented by its plans of ending the sales of conventional vehicles, is expected to propel the demand for fuel cell vehicles in the region. Further, Japan held the second-largest market share, with over 34.0% in terms of volume, followed by European countries, who collectively held around 9.0% share.
The fuel cell vehicle market is primarily driven by the regulatory framework of countries across the world. This regulatory framework primarily includes country-level emission standards, local policies, and fuel-efficiency norms. For instance, the European Union is committed to reducing vehicular emissions by 80% by 2050, from the 1990 levels, by focusing on encouraging the adoption of green vehicles. Further, the U.S. Environmental Protection Act (EPA) focuses on implementing fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Many other countries have also planned to ban the production and sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles in the long term. For instance, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and the Netherlands have plans to ban the production and sale of such vehicles over the 2025–2040 period. Thus, the growing concern over carbon dioxide emissions around the world is leading to the phase-out of conventional vehicles, which, in turn, is benefiting the fuel cell vehicle market.
The global fuel cell vehicle market is consolidated, with three major vehicle manufacturers, namely Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., and Hyundai Motor Company, dominating it. Further, it is expected that a total of 11 automobile manufacturers would offer these vehicles by 2021. A few other key players planning to enter the market include Daimler AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), General Motors Company, Volvo AB, and AUDI AG.