The number of hydrogen vehicles in service globally is likely to exceed 1 million in 2027, from just over 60,000 in 2022 -- a substantial growth of over 1,500 per cent, a new report showed on Monday.
Hydrogen vehicles use hydrogen propulsion systems as their onboard fuel. The chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen reacts with the fuel cell and converts the energy to electricity.
Juniper Research forecasts that the consumer market will lead the hydrogen vehicles space, with consumer vehicles accounting for over 60 per cent of hydrogen vehicles in service globally in 2027.
"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," said research co-author Olivia Williams.
The report identified the nascent development stage of many commercial vehicle types and the high average cost of hydrogen powered commercial vehicles, at over $70,000 globally in 2022, as key factors limiting adoption.
The research identified hydrogen vehicles as an increasingly viable alternative to BEVs (battery electric vehicles).
Car manufacturers, including Hyundai, Toyota and BMW, have made significant investments in hydrogen vehicles.
Additionally, the report identified the low availability of fuelling infrastructure as a key challenge for wider adoption, but highlighted heavy industry investment as key to reducing this concern over the next five years.
Infrastructure vendors should provide 'green' hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, to best take advantage of concerns around the environment driving the adoption of alternative fuels, the report noted.