Fuel Cells and Batteries for Transportation: The Next Generation

Published - Apr 2003| Analyst - Anna Welch Crull| Code - FCB019C
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Report Highlights

  • Fuel cell stacks for on-the-road transportation now are a $93 million market.
  • This is projected to increase at an average of 91% per year over the next five years.
  • The zero-emission specialty small vehicle, valued at more than $2.7 billion, is growing 6% yearly on average.
  • Hybrid vehicles, now a $719 million market in the U.S., will increase at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 26%.
  • Fuel cell vehicles will grow at an AAGR of 84% through 2007.


The internal combustion engine (ICE) in both gasoline and diesel configurations is a huge problem, not only as a primary polluter of the environment but also as one of the three main consumers of the remaining stocks of oil. The others are residential and commercial, and industrial and miscellaneous. This study analyzes advanced technologies that offer the promise of performance equal to the internal combustion engine for transportation, the internal combustion engine's economy, and the possibility of zero or near-zero emission pollutant vehicles. It also identifies the opportunities and technological requirements of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV).

This important BCC report focuses on the next generation of transportation that uses fuel cells and battery technologies for powering the industry in the United States. The report looks at the structure of the automotive industry, companies involved in advanced power technologies, current and projected power initiatives, and projected markets for such technologies. Identified as a practical solution to many of the technological problems associated with zero-emission vehicles is the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). This is defined as a combination internal combustion engine (ICE) with alternative battery power. Also noted in the next-generation transportation arena is the substantial niche occupied by small specialty electric vehicles, even though the all-electric passenger car is, for practical purposes, gone from the market.

Important questions answered by this study include analyzing when the fuel cell-powered vehicle will be a commercial reality, what type of battery will assist it, and how hydrogen fuel will be supplied to the fuel cell. Steps in next-generation alternatives to the hydrocarbon-powered internal combustion engine include satisfactory economics, the inevitable consolidation of the industry, and the increasingly successful introduction of hybrids.


This BCC study examines:


  • The market and technology for large vehicles such as buses
  • The light vehicle market
  • The small device market
  • Other markets that fuel cells might be powering in the future
  • The present and near-term (2007) zero or ultralow emission transportation markets
  • The companies competing for their share of this inevitable technological advance.



An in-depth analysis of technical and literature, a review of the history of the technologies involved, and interviews with industry experts, company representatives, federal government researchers, and university scientists provided an assessment of the outlook for the next generation of power for the transportation industry. Other sources of information included product literature from suppliers, scientific references, conferences, patent searches, and BCC, Inc.'s monthly newsletters, Fuel Cell Technology News, Battery & EV Technology, and Membrane & Separation Technology News.

The report makes projections for market sectors in terms of constant dollars representing real growth. Historical values are presented for the given year. The market analyzed is for the United States, but attention is given to the global aspects of the transportation industry.


Research Analysts Colonel Dick Hooker (USA, Ret.) trained as a journalist and spent half of his military career abroad specializing as an intelligence officer and foreign area specialist. He has authored studies on water and wastewater global markets and technology needs and evaluated the fuel cells markets in stationary areas and in transportation. Col. Hooker has worked with BCC for 4 years. B.S. Journalism, University of Mississippi.

Anna Welch Crull is a Senior Research Analyst experienced in fuel cell technologies, advanced separations, water and wastewater treatments as well as polymer and inorganic membrane materials, Ms. Crull has worked with BCC for nearly 30 years. She has authored 80 technical/marketing reports, helped establish 10 technical newsletters, and assisted in numerous special consulting studies. Her specialty is market evaluations and commercialization of new technology. B.S. School of Engineering, University of Mississippi and M.S. Chemistry, University of Missouri.


Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Aug-2000| Analyst - Anna Welch Crull| Code - FCB019B

Report Highlights

  • The battery powered electric vehicle market is slowly developing while the hybrid electric vehicle market could move ahead more rapidly. Fuel cell vehicles, however, are in the prototype state and will not be a significant part of this discussion. An important objective, therefore, is to identify what is the most likely and seemingly most appropriate technology for each classification of vehicle.
  • The big winners at the present time are the small electric vehicles. These make up about 86% of the electric vehicle market at the present time. In the near term, or within the 5-year horizon, these small vehicles will find that they make up about 42% of the total electric vehicle market. The HEV is just making its appearance on the low/no emissions scene, but in 5 years will represent about 49% of the EV genre of vehicle.


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