Number of hydrogen-powered vehicles projected to increase

Over the next five years, there may be a significant increase in the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in use worldwide.

There are already approximately 60,000 hydrogen-powered automobiles on the road. According to a new estimate, this number will reach one million by 2027’s end.

The analysis from Juniper Research identifies hydrogen vehicles as a potential option to battery electric automobiles (EVs). It was discovered that the possibility for increased range and rapid refueling was superior to that of electric vehicles, hence alleviating customer concerns around EV ownership.

Hydrogen vehicles have advantages over electric vehicles.

The paper cited a number of hydrogen vehicles’ advantages over electric vehicles, including:

  • Hydrogen can be pumped through the current network of gas stations.
  • Why Hydrogen-powered vehicles can travel farther because their energy storage is compact.
  • Why Filling up a hydrogen-powered vehicle takes only a few minutes, whereas charging an electric vehicle can take several hours.

According to the survey, the presence of hybrid vehicles in numerous commercial sectors highlights the limitations of electric vehicles. The widespread availability of diesel-electric hybrid buses, trains, and trucks demonstrates that, based on existing technology, EVs are incapable of delivering a mass transit option.

In addition, hydrogen is promoted as an alternative to electric vehicles (EVs) because EV batteries are huge, expensive, and need rare earth metals such as cobalt, nickel, and lithium. Platinum is required for the generation of hydrogen, but only in production centers and in much lower quantities. The hunt for an alternative to platinum is also at an advanced level of development.

Hydrogen vehicles are defined by Juniper Research as those that employ hydrogen propulsion systems as their onboard fuel. Hydrogen and oxygen react with the fuel cell and turn their chemical energy into electricity.

Hydrogen Vehicle Development

The report claims that several major vehicle manufacturers, including BMW and Audi, believe that a change in the political atmosphere could favour hydrogen vehicles over EVs. Both manufacturers are developing hydrogen fuel cell prototypes in addition to EVs as part of preparations to phase out fossil fuels.

Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and South Korea’s Hyundai were the only manufacturers developing and pushing for hydrogen fuel cell cars for years. Now China is expanding its hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, and the EU wants to build more hydrogen fuelling stations for commercial vehicles.

The research forecasts that the consumers will lead the hydrogen vehicles market, with consumer vehicles accounting for over 60% of hydrogen vehicles globally in 2027. The report identified the emerging development stage of many commercial vehicle types and the high average cost of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles as critical factors limiting the market’s potential growth.

Research co-author Olivia Williams explained, “Manufacturers will need to make hydrogen vehicles more affordable to become viable for fleets, but increased range and suitability for heavy goods transport will ultimately drive growth and economies of scale.”

Additionally, the report identified the low availability of fuelling infrastructure as a critical challenge for broader adoption. Still, it highlighted heavy industry investment as key to reducing this concern over the next five years. The report recommends that infrastructure vendors provide ‘green’ hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, to best take advantage of environmental concerns driving the adoption of alternative fuels.