World fuel cell spending -- including research and development funding, investment in fuel cell enterprises, as well as revenue derived from commercial sales -- is projected to advance nearly 10 percent per year to $11 billion in 2017 and then almost double through 2022. Commercial demand for fuel cell products and services (including revenues associated with prototyping, demonstration, and test marketing activities, as well as actual product sales) will more than double to $4 billion in 2017 and then nearly triple through 2022. The share of total fuel cell expenditures accounted for by commercial demand will climb from one-fifth in 2012 to more than half of all spending in 2022.
Commercial sales of fuel cell systems are projected to expand from what are currently extremely modest levels to more than three million units in 2022. Demand gains are expected to be strong in most major markets, although explosive growth in sales of portable fuel cell systems will result in their accounting for four-fifths of all unit demand in 2022. Suppliers of portable electronic fuel cell systems will benefit from the advantages that these products offer over battery systems, particularly their ability to generate power over a longer period of time than comparably sized batteries. Declining costs will make fuel cells an affordable alternative source of portable power in a growing number of applications. Nevertheless, portable electronics will remain a modest-sized fuel cell market in value terms, accounting for only three percent of the 2022 dollar total, because demand will be dominated by high volume, low price products.
Fuel cells used in motor vehicle applications will account for the next largest share of systems sold in 2022, over 10 percent of the total. These will include not only fuel cell-powered automobiles and buses, but also fuel cell range extenders that are being developed for use in electric vehicles. More significantly, fuel cell systems used in motor vehicle applications will account for just under half of total commercial revenue in 2022. In early 2014, Hyundai began leasing fuel cell vehicles to commercial customers, and a number of additional vehicle models are expected to become available from other major automakers by 2017. Dollar demand is projected to rise from current extremely low levels -- which at present consist mostly of revenues associated with prototyping, demonstration, and test marketing activities -- to much larger but still very modest levels in 2022 relative to overall motor vehicle sales.
Electric power generation has experienced the most extensive commercialization activity of any fuel cell application to date. In 2012, electric power generation accounted for roughly three-fourths of all commercial revenue and more than half of the total number of units sold, with strong growth in both large-scale megawatt applications and small residential micro combined heat and power units recorded between 2007 and 2012. Electric power generation-related fuel cell sales will continue to grow at a brisk pace through 2022, bolstered by comparatively low hurdles to overcome to achieve cost competitiveness and much greater fuel efficiency than conventional power generation methods.
This Freedonia industry study, World Fuel Cells, presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007 and 2012, plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, chemistry, application, world region, and for 15 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles global industry players.
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