Market Penetration Scenarios for Fuel Cell Vehicles

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Fuel cell vehicles may create the first mass market for hydrogen as an energy carrier. Directed Technologies, Inc., working with the U.S. Department of Energy hydrogen systems analysis team, has developed at time-dependent computer market penetration model. This model estimates the number of fuel cell vehicles that would be purchased over time as a function of their cost and the cost of hydrogenrelative to the costs of competing vehicles and fuels. The model then calculates the return on investment for fuel cell vehicle manufacturers and hydrogen fuel suppliers. The model also projects the benefit/cost ratio for government -- and the ratio of societal benefits such as reduced oil consumption, reduced urban air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions to the government cost forassisting the development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicles technologies. The purpose of this model is to assist industry and government in choosing the best investment strategies to achieve significant return on investment and to maximize benefit/cost ratios. The model can illustrate trends and highlight the sensitivity of market penetration to various parameters such as fuel cellefficiency, cost, weight, and hydrogen cost. It can also illustrate the potential benefits of successful R&D and early demonstration projects. Results are given comparing the market penetration and return on investment estimates for direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles compared to fuel cell vehicles with onboard fuel processors including methanol steam reformers and gasoline partial oxidationsystems. The market penetration of these fuel cell vehicles are also compared with natural gas vehicles and vehicles fueled with natural gas/hydrogen mixtures.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 1997
Event1997 U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program Review - Herndon, Virginia
Duration: 21 May 199723 May 1997


Conference1997 U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program Review
CityHerndon, Virginia

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Directed Technologies, Inc., Arlington, Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-540-25594


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