Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: Arriving Alive

posted Apr 1, 2014, 1:08 PM by Kay Mann   [ updated Apr 1, 2014, 1:09 PM ]
Projected Fuel Cell Transportation System Costs per kW, Assuming High Volume Production (500,000 units per year) image courtesy of US-DOE

ARE hydrogen fuel cell vehicles dead on arrival? Not according to Barry Stevens, PhD, who says in his blog, "Even with insufficient support from the federal government, lack of a hydrogen infrastructure, and cost uncertainties, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are poking their head above the radar."

Although only two models of FCEV's are available in the US market in 2014 (Honda FCX Clarity and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell), all major automakers are lining up in the wings to offer them in the next 2-5 years.

As the chart above illustrates, fuel cell system costs have been getting closer every year to the DOE target at which they compare to light duty trucks: $30 per kW.

According to the DOE 2012 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report, "The number of public stations is expected to increase significantly as markets prepare for commercial quantities of fuel cell electric vehicles." Six manufacturers of commercially available hydrogen generation systems were listed in the DOE report.

In 2012, The Connecticut Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Small Business Administration, released hydrogen and fuel cell roadmaps for eight Northeastern states. These roadmaps are designed to raise awareness of the economic potential and deployment opportunities for fuel cell and hydrogen technology in the Northeast states where the industry has an economic impact of more than $1 billion of total revenue and investment.

Read the full analysis by Dr. Stevens here.

Image caption: Projected Fuel Cell Transportation System Costs per kW, Assuming High Volume Production (500,000 units per year), image courtesy of US-DOE.

Posted by Kay Mann for Rick Smith, President of the Hydrogen Energy Center.