Is fuel-cell electric the technology most likely to succeed?
A 2016 Autelligence expert survey picked out fuel-cell technology as the powertrain type most widely expected to grow strongly in the next few years. Are FCVs moving towards mainstream acceptance as a viable powertrain alternative?
“We remain committed to fuel cells. Nobody knows if the hype on the battery-electric vehicle side will pay off. It's not clear. The future isn't clear.” - Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
After many years of research and development, the first fuel cell vehicles (FCV) are now available for purchase. While some OEMs are cautious about committing to FCV production in the near term, major obstacles such as cold weather starting and general durability have been overcome. However, cost remains something of a barrier despite the dramatic reductions that have been achieved and the establishment of a comprehensive hydrogen refuelling infrastructure beyond the few localised networks that currently exist appears to still be some years away.
“We believe that hydrogen electric will be the primary fuel for the next 100 years.” - Bob Carter, Toyota.
Nevertheless, the 2015 launch of the Toyota Mirai and product launches planned during the next 12-24 months appear to suggest that the OEMs pursuing the technology see 2016 as a pivotal year.
This report provides an overview of the wide range of FCV concepts and prototypes that have been developed, trialled and now launched into the market, looks at the state of fuel-cell vehicles in major markets, covers the latest developments, discusses the challenges in managing hydrogen as a fuel, assesses FCV market conditions and barriers to growth, reviews market forecasts, and presents the various enabling technologies that are contributing to FCV development.
NOx emissions standards for gasoline passenger cars: EU,
Japan & US, 1990-2014 (g/km)
Sources: DieselNet, Delphi, Japan Ministry of the Environment
About the author
Mike Murphy B.Sc., M.Phil.(Hons.I) has had a lifelong interest in things automotive including owning and racing a range of motorcycles and track cars. He began regularly contributing to automotive publications in his native New Zealand during the 1990s and in 2004 he became a news editor for a leading UK auto industry publication. He began researching and writing automotive technology sector reports the following year and has had around 50 technology reports and numerous features published by four UK-based automotive industry publications.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The fuel-cell opportunity
Chapter 2: Where are fuel-cell vehicles in major market segments?
- 2.1. Light passenger vehicles
- 2.2. Light commercial vehicles
- 2.3. Trucks
- 2.4. Buses
- 2.5. Prototype findings
Chapter 3: Developments in FCVs
- 3.1. Types of fuel cells
- 3.2. Enabling technologies
- 3.2.1. Electric motors
- 3.2.2. Transmissions
- 220.127.116.11. Single-speed transmissions
- 18.104.22.168. Two-speed transmissions
- 22.214.171.124. Multi-speed transmissions
- 3.3. Super-capacitors
- 3.4. Regenerative braking
- 3.5. Electronic components
- 3.6. Electrically-powered ancillaries
- 3.6.1. Electric power steering
- 3.6.2. Air conditioning
- 3.6.3. Power-assisted brakes
- 3.6.4. Heating
Chapter 4: Managing hydrogen as a fuel
- 4.1. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells
- 4.2. Phosphoric acid fuel cells
- 4.3. Direct methanol fuel cells
- 4.4. Rare earth supply
- 4.5. On board processing to produce hydrogen
Chapter 5: What will move the market
- 5.1. Petroleum price volatility
- 5.2. The global crude oil supply
- 5.3. Global natural gas reserves
- 5.4. Energy security
- 5.5. Fuel economy regulations
- 5.5.1. The United States
- 5.5.2. The European Union
- 5.5.3. Japan
- 5.5.4. China
- 5.5.5. Other countries
- 5.6. Criterion emissions regulations
- 5.7. Incentives
Chapter 6: Barriers to growth and how they are evolving
- 6.1. Standards
- 6.2. Costs of producing vehicles
- 6.3. Hydrogen storage
- 6.3.1. Liquid storage
- 6.3.2. Solid-state storage
Chapter 7: Hydrogen production technologies
- 7.1. Steam methane reformation
- 7.2. Electrolysis
- 7.3. Photolytic generation
- 7.4. Other processes
Chapter 8: Hydrogen availability worldwide
- 8.1. Hydrogen demand
- 8.2. Hydrogen transportation
- 8.3. Refuelling infrastructure initiatives
- 8.3.1. Europe
- 8.3.2. North America
- 8.3.3. Japan
- 8.3.4. South Korea
- 8.3.5. India
Chapter 9: Research programmes and trials
Chapter 10: Market dynamics and forecasts
Table of Figures, Tables and Appendices
- Figure 1: Audi A7 h-tron
- Figure 2: Chevrolet Equinox HydroGen4
- Figure 3: Honda FCX Clarity
- Figure 4: Honda FCV CONCEPT
- Figure 5: Hyundai ix35 FCV
- Figure 6: Renault Scenic ZEV H2 FCV
- Figure 7: Toyota Mirai
- Figure 8: Peugeot H2Origin
- Figure 9: Microcab Royal Mail fuel cell postal van
- Figure 10: Vision Industries Tyrano Class 8 fuel cell tractor
- Figure 11: Mercedes-Benz Citaro Fuel Cell bus
- Figure 12: 2015 Toyota Hino fuel-cell bus
- Figure 13: Tecnobus Gulliver
- Figure 14: Switch reluctance motor schematic
- Figure 15: Michelin Active Wheel
- Figure 16: ECOmove in-wheel motor
- Figure 17: Optimum EV transmission ratios for each performance criterion
- Figure 18: BorgWarner 31-03 eGearDrive single-speed transmission
- Figure 19: IAV DrivePacEV80
- Figure 20: Oelikon Graziano two-speed EV transmission
- Figure 21: Honda direct drive EPS system
- Figure 22: Continental spindle-actuated electromechanical brake
- Figure 23: Proton exchange membrane fuel cell schematic
- Figure 24: WTI crude oil spot price (US$/barrel), 1986 to May 2015
- Figure 25: US gasoline price (US$/US gallon), 1994 - May 2015
- Figure 26: CO2 emissions targets in major markets converted to NEDC
- Figure 27: Well-to-wheel CO2 emissions, including fuel source, by powertrain
- Figure 28: CO emissions standards for gasoline passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 29: CO emissions standards for diesel passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 30: HC+NOx emissions standards for gasoline passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 31: HC+NOx emissions standards for diesel passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 32: NOx emissions standards for gasoline passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 33: NOx emissions standards for diesel passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 34: PM emissions standards for diesel passenger cars: EU, Japan & US, 1990 - 2014 (g/km)
- Figure 35: The price of platinum (US$/oz), January 2000 to May 2015 (by month)
- Figure 36: Linde IC90
- Figure 37: Asemblon dual-pumping Hydrnol station
- Figure 38: Mainland Europe hydrogen highway
- Figure 39: Hydrogen refuelling stations in the US and Canada
- Figure 40: Los Angeles area hydrogen refuelling stations
- Figure 41: San Francisco area hydrogen refuelling stations
- Figure 42: East Coast Hydrogen Highway
- Figure 43: British Columbia hydrogen highway
- Figure 44: Japan's hydrogen refuelling network
- Figure 45: South Korea's hydrogen refuelling network
- Figure 46: ITM Power HBox solar hydrogen refuelling station
- Figure 47: Honda solar-powered hydrolysis hydrogen station
- Figure 48: Fraunhofer solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station
- Table 1: Selected light passenger FCV developments.
- Table 2: Selected light commercial FCV developments.
- Table 3: Selected truck FCV developments.
- Table 4: Selected FCV bus developments.
- Table 5: Concept and demonstration prototypes produced by major OEMs.
- Table 6: Achievements in catalyst development and cost reduction by selected organisations.
- Table 7: Selected of suppliers and examples of single-, two-, and multi-speed transmissions.
- Table 8: Proven oil reserves, annual production and reserve life, 2014.
- Table 9: Storage solutions by selected companies.
- Table 10: Market drivers and challenges affecting FCV development.
- Table 11: Projects to develop FCV infrastructure.
- Table 12: FCV Research programmes and trials, by company, date launched and model.
- Appendix 1: Battery chemistry