Wednesday, 21 December 2016

EAFO Newsletter on hydrogen vehicles



In this special edition we highlight the Hydrogen vehicle sales evolution over the last years in Europe (EU28 + EFTA + Turkey) and look at which countries contribute the most to this Alternative Fuel.

Infrastructure is not forgotten, we have also listed the Top 5 countries with highest numbers of Hydrogen filling stations.

This information comes primarily from Industry and Governmental sources and we thank HyER and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for their input as well.

Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) Vehicle Sales Evolution (2012-2016)

Passenger Cars (M1)
Fuel Cell Passenger Cars only started to be sold in significant numbers last year, when the Toyota Mirai joined the Hyundai ix35 FCEV on the market. The numbers are still small, but growing year on year to above 200 units, according to the estimations for 2016 of our partners FCH JU. With new models coming next year (Mercedes GLC F-Cell, Honda Clarity), the expectation is that the numbers of sales will continue to grow in 2017.

Light Commercial Vehicles (N1)
Fuel Cell Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV’s) only started to be produced in significant numbers last year, when the only model available, the Renault Kangoo FCEV, a Fuel Cell Range Extended BEV, reached 55 registered units. This year, sales have been doubling regarding last year, with the final total expected sales to surpass the 100 units.

Hydrogen Contributors

A brief overview on countries with the largest fleet of Fuel Cell Vehicles, by category:

Germany has almost 30% of all Fuel Cell passenger cars in Europe, being the only country with a volume stock of over 100 units.

Denmark has also a large number of units, profiting from a wide network of filling stations.

The third country with highest number of Fuel Cell cars is Norway, a country known for the massive adoption of Alternative Fuels and clean energy vehicle incentives.

France is the only market where Fuel Cell Light Commercial Vehicles are significant, with that country accounting for 92% of all registrations, or 132 units.

Fuel Cell buses are popular in a number of countries, with the United Kingdom representing 28% of all FCEV buses in Europe, followed by Germany, with 20% share, with more than 70 buses currently in operation or are about to start operations.

More fuel cell buses will come to the roads in 2017 and 2018 so the number of fuel cell electric buses on the roads will rapidly double. For more information on this topic, check the Fuel Cell Buses website.

A final note for Fuel Cell Heavy-Duty trucks (N2+N3), currently the number of FCEV trucks is negligible, but the start-up company Nikola announced its One model, a 320kWh EV battery vehicle, supplying a 1.000 hp and 2.700 Nm of torque. The energy source is a 300 kW hydrogen fuel cell, with a claimed range of 1.900 kms. This hydrogen truck is said to be available by 2019 and the company claimed to have already 5.000 pre-orders.

Top 5 Countries with most Hydrogen Filling Stations

The number of active Hydrogen Filling Stations open to the public and with suitable pressure for Passenger Cars (700 bar) is correlated with the number of FCEV’s on the streets, so it is with no surprise that Germany, the market with highest number of Fuel Cell passenger cars, is also the country with the highest number of filling stations, with 24.

Of the remaining countries in this Top 5; Denmark deserves a special mention, being the only country in Europe to profit from a nation-wide coverage of filling stations.

Policy + industry news:

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced at the Zero Emission Bus Conference in London (November 30th) that London will stop procuring double decker diesel buses as of 2018, and all new single-deckers for central London to be zero-emission. Read the full article HERE.

Bus manufacturer Wrightbus has presented the first double decker fuel cell bus at the Zero Emission Bus Conference in London on November 30th. The bus will be trialed in London next year. Read the full article HERE.

Four major cities have committed to remove diesel vehicles from their cities by 2025: read the full press release HERE.

All these announcements should have an impact on the number of fuel cell electric cars and buses deployed in Europe over the next few years.


The sole responsibility of this publication lies with the author. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein

For more information about the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO), please visit