Asian markets to lead fuel cell adoption
Industry analysts Frost and Sullivan studied the market for fuel cell electric vehicles in 2011, and said Japanese and South Korean manufacturers were readying the technology for commercial release. By 2020, fuel cell vehicles will total 58,100 units across both countries.
In Japan, there are already 11 hydrogen refuelling stations in operation, and the government offers financial support for research and development as well as subsidising infrastructure development. Honda, Toyota and Nissan already have research vehicles on the road, with Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka earmarked as early markets.
South Korea is in a similar position. Government support extends to funding and subsidies for research and development, while infrastructure is being established with oil companies. To date, there are 11 in operation throughout South Korea, and its biggist cities of Seoul and Ulsan are likely to be the earliest markets for the technology. Hyundai/Kia is developing vehicles ready for a commercial launch.
Manufacturers are also working with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in Japan and South Korea to develop a supply chain for the new vehicles. By 2020, Honda is expected to have a 41.8% market share, followed by Hyundai and Toyota at 17.4% and 17.2% respectively.