H2-international has recently asked manufacturers of fuel cell stacks not only about their systems’ technical specifications, but also about their opinion of current market developments. As only seven companies participated in the survey, the results may not be very indicative of where the entire market is heading. However, you can discern a few trends. For example, six of seven suppliers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that demand for fuel cells will increase considerably before 2020. These six also wished for more financial support for R&D activities and market introduction, although they seem to put more emphasis on the latter, which received broader agreement than the former when comparing the answers to both questions (see chart).
Three of the respondents were mostly satisfied – one was even very satisfied – with how the NIP 1 and NIP 2 subsidy programs had turned out. Unfortunately, the others did not comment on the subject. One supplier praised NIP 2’s Market Activation Support in particular. Another hoped that the current program stage would lead to increased fuel cell deployment in Germany. A third wished for separate basic research budgets, coupled with the requirement that the results of this research would be made available to the public.
When asked about the market most likely to see sustainable growth first, six of the respondents chose utility vehicles, making it the clear favorite. Industrial trucks were available as an option, but none of the respondents checked the field. However, some of the questionnaires showed forklift trucks and materials handling below Other – both descriptions which match that option. Buses were mentioned as well.
Author: Eva Augsten