Manufacturing Competitiveness Analysis for Hydrogen Refueling Stations

Ahmad Mayyas, Margaret Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus Citations


Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have now entered the market as zero-emission vehicles. Original equipment manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have released commercial cars in parallel with efforts focusing on the development of hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support new FCEV fleets. Persistent challenges for FCEVs include high initial vehicle cost and the availability of hydrogen stations to support FCEV fleets. This study sheds light on the factors that drive manufacturing competitiveness of the principal systems in hydrogen refueling stations, including compressors, storage tanks, precoolers, and dispensers. To explore major cost drivers and investigate possible cost reduction areas, bottom-up manufacturing cost models were developed for these systems. Results from these manufacturing cost models show there is substantial room for cost reductions through economies of scale, as fixed costs can be spread over more units. Results also show that purchasing larger quantities of commodity and purchased parts can drive significant cost reductions. Intuitively, these cost reductions will be reflected in lower hydrogen fuel prices. A simple cost analysis shows there is some room for cost reduction in the manufacturing cost of the hydrogen refueling station systems, which could reach 35% or more when achieving production rates of more than 100 units per year. We estimated the potential cost reduction in hydrogen compression, storage and dispensing as a result of capital cost reduction to reach 5% or more when hydrogen refueling station systems are produced at scale.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9121-9142
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-67700


  • (FCEV)
  • fuel cell electric vehicles
  • hydrogen
  • hydrogen station
  • manufacturing


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