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Outlook for China's Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Fuel Cell Vehicle Markets

  • Report

  • 35 Pages
  • April 2021
  • Region: China
  • Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC)
  • ID: 5317048

Since the 1950s, hydrogen fuel cells have been successfully used in aerospace applications. As cell technology advances, fuel cells have been widely adopted due to their high energy efficiency, sustainability, and low noise levels. Transportation has become a major application area for hydrogen fuel cells in the downstream segment and is expected to grow further. Fuel cell vehicles can make up for the weaknesses of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicle). Currently, China leads the world in hydrogen production.

Due to the governments' carbon emission reduction targets and the advantages of using hydrogen fuel cells in commercial vehicles, China has long focused on the development of hydrogen energy, fuel cells, and FCEVs. This report provides an overview of fuel cell development, looks at government policy and industrial development of fuel cell and FCEV (Full Cell EV) in China, and examines their future development.

List of Topics

  • Development of fuel cell, touching on the advantage of fuel cell EV (Electric Vehicles) and differences with battery EV
  • Development of fuel cell and fuel cell EVs, touching on central and local government policy in China
  • Development of the full cell and fuel cell EV industries in China, touching on fuel cell types and major international and Chinese suppliers
  • Development of the full cell and fuel cell EV markets in China, touching on their production volume, and includes production and development of heavy-duty trucks and forklifts in China


Table of Contents

1.Transportation Drives Fuel Cell Development
1.1 Increased Application of Fuel Cells in Transportation
1.2 Long Cell Lifetime and Zero Emissions the Biggest Advantages of FCEVs

2. China's Fuel Cell and FCEV Development Policies
2.1 Increased Policy Support to Accelerate Industry Development
2.2 Local Governments Roll out Hydrogen Energy Policies in Full Swing

3. Development of China's Fuel Cell and FCEV Industries
3.1 PEMFC Fit for Automotive Use and to Become Mainstream Technology
3.2 Fuel Cell Stack at the Core of FCEV Technology and Cost
3.3 MEA Plays a Key Role in PEMFC Performance; Bipolar Plates Provide Gas Flow Channels
3.4 BOP the Key to Fuel Cell Stack Reliability; CEM the Core of BOP
3.5 Chinese Vendors Jump into the Hydrogen Refueling Station Industry Chain to Create Business Opportunities
3.6 China Needs to Work Harder on Domestic Production of Key Components for Fuel Cells
3.6.1 China Lags Far behind in Technology and Mass Production Capability for Fuel Cell Stacks and Key Components

4.Outlook for China's Hydrogen Fuel Cell and FCEV Markets
4.1 FCEV Production and Sales Volume Remains Small but Projected to Grow Strongly in 2021
4.2 China to Focus on Commercial FCEVs
4.3 Increased Importance of Heavy-duty Trucks in China's Commercial FCEV Development
4.4 Forklifts another Trend in China's Commercial FCEV Development

5. Analyst Perspective

List of Companies

List of Tables
Table 1 BEVs v.s. FCEVs
Table 2 China's FCEV Roadmap in Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Technical Roadmap 2.0
Table 3 China's Fuel Cell and FCEV Development Policies after 2020
Table 4 Local Governments’ Subsidy Policies for Hydrogen Refueling Stations
Table 5 City Clusters Applying to Become Hydrogen Energy Demonstration City in China
Table 6 Types of Fuel Cells
Table 7 Comparison of Different Types of Bipolar Plate and Major Chinese Suppliers18
Table 8 Gap between Chinese and International Manufacturers in Fuel Cell Technology and Mass Production Capability
Table 9 Gap between Chinese and International Manufacturers in Fuel Cell Technology and Mass Production Capability
Table 10 Technology Gap between Major Chinese and International Fuel Cell Stack and Key Component Manufacturers

List of Figures
Figure 1 Application of Fuel Cells in the Downstream Segment
Figure 2. China's National Development Policies for Fuel Cells and FCEVs before 2019
Figure 3 FCEV Cost Structure
Figure 4 Distribution of FCEV Cost
Figure 5 Composition and Operation of Fuel Cells
Figure 6 Major Players in China's Hydrogen Refueling Station Industry Chain
Figure 7 China's FCEV Production Volume and Development of Fuel Cell Power
Figure 8 Worldwide Heavy-duty Truck Production Volume and Major Chinese Manufacturers by Sales Volume
Figure 9 Exports and Domestic Sales of Forklifts in China by Engine Type
Figure 10 Domestic Production by Sector in China’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Industry Chain



Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • 3M
  • AGC
  • Air Liquide
  • Air Liquide
  • Arthur D Little
  • Asahi Kasei
  • Bac2
  • Ballard
  • Beijing SinoHytec 
  • Cell Impact AB
  • Cummins
  • Dongyue Group
  • DuPont
  • Foton Motor
  • Fujikura Rubber 
  • Gräbener
  • GrafTech
  • Hanbell Precise Machinery
  • Honda
  • Honeywell
  • Horizon
  • Houpu Clean Energy
  • Hydrogenics
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Linde Industrial Gases
  • Mechanology LLC.
  • Opcon Autorotor AB
  • Panasonic
  • Poco Graphite
  • Porvair
  • SGL Carbon
  • Shanghai Elite Energy Technologies
  • Shanghai Hesen Electric
  • Shanghai Hongfeng Industrial
  • Shanghai Hongjun Industrial
  • Shanxi Meijin Energy
  • Shenzhen Center Power
  • Shunhua New Energy
  • Sino-Platinum Metals
  • Sinosynergy
  • Sunki Carbon Group
  • Sunway
  • Toray Industries
  • Toyota
  • Treadstone Technologies
  • W.L.Gore
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
  • Zhejiang University
  • Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor


Primary research with a holistic, cross-domain approach

The exhaustive primary research methods are central to the value that the analyst delivers. A combination of questionnaires and on-site visits to the major manufacturers provides a first view of the latest data and trends. Information is subsequently validated by interviews with the manufacturers' suppliers and customers, covering a holistic industry value chain. This process is backed up by a cross-domain team-based approach, creating an interlaced network across numerous interrelated components and system-level devices to ensure statistical integrity and provide in-depth insight.

Complementing primary research is a running database and secondary research of industry and market information. Dedicated research into the macro-environmental trends shaping the ICT industry also allows the analyst to forecast future development trends and generate foresight perspectives. With more than 20 years of experience and endeavors in research, the methods and methodologies include:


  • Component supplier interviews
  • System supplier interviews
  • User interviews
  • Channel interviews
  • IPO interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Consumer surveys
  • Production databases
  • Financial data
  • Custom databases


  • Technology forecasting and assessment
  • Product assessment and selection
  • Product life cycles
  • Added value analysis
  • Market trends
  • Scenario analysis
  • Competitor analysis