Global fuel cell market is expected to drive on account of stringent environment regulations by regional bodies such as the EPA and the REACH to control harmful emissions from vehicle resulting into numerous health and environmental problems.
Fuel cell technology for vehicle is gaining importance globally owing to its uniqueness and environment-friendly nature. The technology has the ability to power all vehicle types such as heavy duty, power forklifts, passenger, and airport tugs.
Their favorable features such as high power density & efficiency conversion and noise-free operations are increasing their demand in these automobile types. Key automobile manufacturers have also started adopting fuel cell vehicle program on account of emission standards by the regulatory bodies.
To minimize environmental effects from automobile emissions, the U.S. Department of Energy has set certain goals and standards. Fuel cell vehicle are capable of meeting these standards, which make them more suitable alternative to normal fuel-based vehicle.
Durability is another major factor, which is important for customers. There is a certain durability range set by the U.S. Department of Energy. The product is considered to meet these ranges and is expected to meet the customer demand over the forecast period.
High demand in fuel cell-based automobile market is also expected to create significant number of employment and business prospects mainly in research and development field as the market is still at its initial development stage.
The product use in transportation sector helps in diversifying energy sources and minimizes environmental effects, such as lower carbon emission levels, resulting into less greenhouse effect & global warming and decrease in air pollutants.
According to the National Research Council, there is a decrease in greenhouse gases emission level from the past few years on account of increasing hydrogen-based fuel cell vehicle. The study also mentioned that there is a downfall in oil consumption level, mainly in transportation sector.
Decrease in oil consumption means reduction in oil import dependence, while minimal air pollutants and green house emissions will result into no climate change. Reduction in oil import dependence will further result into trade deficit balance, mainly in emerging regions.
The analysis by the council also explained the fuel cell automobile potential as they are expected to reduce oil demand, harmful air pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions.
National Research Council also mentioned that the vehicle commercialization is expected to start in 2015, and by 2020, the number of automobiles is expected to be over 2 million. Increasing demand mainly in public transit systems is expected to drive the global industry over the forecast period.
Global market is segmented into buses, forklifts, motorcycles & bicycles, airplanes, boats, submarines, and trams. Buses segment is expected to account for major market share followed by motorcycles & bicycles. Airplanes and forklifts are expected to grow at a significant growth rate over the forecast period.
North America was the leading global market on account of continuous government initiatives undertaken to develop hydrogen infrastructure in order to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in this region.
In addition, shale gas plays have lowered regional natural gas prices, which have resulted into improvements in hydrogen reforming technologies, thereby making the technology economical. Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a highest growth rate owing to government initiatives promoting the technology mainly in emerging countries such as India, China, South Korea, and Vietnam.
Major industries involved are Cellkraft AB, Acumentrics SOFC Corporation, Ballard Power Systems, Altergy Systems, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp., and BIC Consumer Products.
Other market players are Nissan, BMW, Toyota Motor Corporation, Audi AG, Daimler AG, GreenGT, Ballard, Proton Power Systems PLC, VW Group, and Hydrogenics. Manufacturers are expected to conduct research and studies for technology developments. The market is expected to witness significant number of new entrants over the forecast period.
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