There is a noticeable feeling of change in the air, and it is not mere hype this time. A current of hope runs through the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. No, there’s no euphoria, but also no longer the sense of discouragement, resignation sometimes, that frequently pervaded the community in past years. The general opinion coming out of the sector is that hard work is finally paying off.
At the dawn of the new millennium, the shares of fuel cell companies had gone through the roof. Fuel cells were thought of as the next big breakthrough technology, and it seemed as if large, new growth markets were just waiting to be exploited. But shareholders were mistaken, celebrating too early. The industry’s leading businesses stumbled over the immense cost to develop and introduce new technologies. Likewise, a lot of them were spread too thin, trying to serve too many markets with too many products at once. Instead of concentrating research on a few promising segments, some allocated resources to several – regardless of their potential.