GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE FUEL CELL MARKET
Hydrogen + Oxygen = Electricity + Water Vapor
That’s the basic principle of which Fuel cell works
There are four basic elements of a PEM Fuel Cell:
The anode, the negative post of the fuel cell, has several jobs. It conducts the electrons that are freed from the hydrogen molecules so that they can be used in an external circuit.
It has channels etched into it that disperse the hydrogen gas equally over the surface of the catalyst.
The cathode, the positive post of the fuel cell, has channels etched into it that distribute the oxygen to the surface of the catalyst. It also conducts the electrons back from the external circuit to the catalyst, where they can recombine with the hydrogen ions and oxygen to form water.
The electrolyte is the proton exchange membrane. This specially treated material, which looks something like ordinary kitchen plastic wrap, only conducts positively charged ions. The membrane blocks electrons. For a PEMFC, the membrane must be hydrated in order to function and remain stable.
The catalyst is a special material that facilitates the reaction of oxygen and hydrogen. It is usually made of platinum nanoparticles very thinly coated onto carbon paper or cloth. The catalyst is rough and porous so that the maximum surface area of the platinum can be exposed to the hydrogen or oxygen. The platinum-coated side of the catalyst faces the PEM.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AUTOMOTIVE FUEL CELL
Advantages of the technology
- By converting chemical potential energy directly into electrical energy, fuel cells avoid the “thermal bottleneck” (a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics) and are thus inherently more efficient than combustion engines, which must first convert chemical potential energy into heat, and then mechanical work.
- Direct emissions from a fuel cell vehicle are just water and a little heat. This is a huge improvement over the internal combustion engine’s litany of greenhouse gases.
- Fuel cells have no moving parts. They are thus much more reliable than traditional engines.
- Hydrogen can be produced in an environmentally friendly manner, while oil extraction and refining is very damaging.
Disadvantages of the technology
- hydrogen is in the gas state at room temperature and pressure, so it is difficult to store in the car
- fuel cells and electric motors are less durable than petrol engines and diesel engines, so they are not so long-lasting
- fuel cells are very expensive
- there is no countrywide network of hydrogen filling stations at the moment
- some methods of producing the hydrogen fuel release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere
There are also safety concerns about the use of hydrogen because it is highly flammable.
A fuel cell station costs $1M to $2M in USA. In Japan it’s 250M Yen to 319M Yen.
The global goal is 10,000 stations by 2030. Japan plans to have 320 stations nationwide by 2025 and 900 by 2030. Europe had 105 stations at the end of 2020. Germany has set a target of 400 stations by the end of 2023 and 900 by 2030. In USA, California is leading the fuel cell station count and had 64 stations in action in 2020. USA plans on having 250 stations by 2025, 50% of them being in California
AUTOMOTIVE FUEL CELL MARKET DYMANICS
China is pushing for fuel cell development throughout the country. Subsidies are available and incentives are provided for developing fuel cell vehicles. There is a set-up of the hydrogen power corridor across China.
China plans to have one million FCEVs on the road and 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2030, with heavy vehicles a priority. Toyota started a joint venture in China along with Beijing SinoHytec. Toyota will soon start manufacturing of fuel cell components in China and this will be the first time production of fuel cell components will be outside Japan.
Chengdu and Chongqing are applying for government subsidies to develop a hydrogen corridor. Shanghai, Foshan, and Beijing are also cities focusing on using fuel cell vehicles throughout the city.
Government hopes for cities and OEMs to capture the incentive and subsidies creating competition for developing technology. Great Wall Motors is launching itself in the hydrogen power sector and plans to be among the top 3 global market leaders in 2025 in using hydrogen energy
South Korea has looked into developing fuel cell vehicles for more than a decade. At Seosan, South Chungcheong Province a 50 MegaWatt secondary hydrogen fuel cell power plant is being constructed .
Bloom Energy and SK Engineering and Construction have powered on two fuel cell complexes in the Gyeonggi province of South Korea. The fuel cell technology development is jointly funded by government and private agencies to incorporate advantages from both sides.
The fuel cell development will also include automobile as well as general energy supply.
Australian Government has set aside $70 M for a new hydrogen export hub and $74.5 M for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through a future fuels fund. Australian bus maker Volgren plans hydrogen fuel cell prototype and will be released by 2023. It’ll be the first domestic hydrogen based bus for Australia.
In USA, California set apart $39.1 Million for Hydrogen Fuel Stations to create 36 new hydrogen fuel cell stations. Fuel cell drivers are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 and a rebate from the state of $4,500
Japan is the leader in the development of fuel cells and have sold Mirai and Sora for over 5 years. For the olympics, Japan plans to build 35 hydrogen fuel stations in Tokyo alone with a goal of 80 stations and 100,000 fuel cell vehicles in the country by 2025.
Toyota is aiming to accelerate development of commercial fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), particularly small-size commercial trucks, with a tie-up with Isuzu. Fukushima’s hydrogen potential is attracting co-operation from Japan’s car industry in developing infrastructure to supply fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to help achieve the country’s 2050 decarbonisation goal
Germany plans to invest 9 billion euros ($10.6 billion) while for France and Portugal the figure is 7 billion euros each. Britain plans to spend £12 billion ($16.6 billion) for fuel cell development and hydrogen stations.
The European Union is aiming to push hydrogen’s share of its energy supply from 2% currently to 12-14% by 2050. Germany is approaching Morocco to use solar power to make hydrogen. The Green Spider and Green Flamingo projects are developing maritime highways for hydrogen and gas pipelines to link Spain and Portugal to northern Europe.
AUTOMOTIVE FUEL CELL MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
Due to the push received by various governments, the automobile industry will have a minor shift towards fuel cell vehicles in the next 5 years mainly in China, Japan and South Korea.
The global outreach will take some more time and in the next 15 years fuel cell vehicles will be popular on roads. The main difficulty of storage and fuel cell stations will be key for the wide spread reach of this technology
The global automotive fuel cell market is estimated at $XX Million in 2020, growing at –% CAGR till 2025.