As the global hydrogen economy makes significant progress, investing in the innovation and infrastructure needed to make fuel cell vehicles a powerful tool in achieving emissions targets, where is the U.S.?
The United States has largely been considered a bystander to the hydrogen mobility movement in recent years. While there are FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicles) passenger cars commercially available and California lawmakers have made an investment to put 100 refuelling stations and 48 hydrogen buses into operation, the prospect for a robust and viable U.S. market for FCEVs has seemed bleak.
Sales of U.S. FCEV passenger cars dropped by 50% in 2020, in contrast to a 15.5% drop in all passenger car sales. That’s 1000 FCEVs out of roughly 14.5 million new vehicles sold in the United States last year. While this may suggest that the United States should be counted out as a viable market for hydrogen mobility, 2021 has brought about three big signs of progress:
These three recent announcements could help the United States catch up in the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, aligning with strategic infrastructure moves that have enabled change throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. There have always been some factors working against the U.S. for FCEVs:
Governmental and commercial commitments to emissions targets may help to make the United States a viable hydrogen economy.