Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market Size, Share, and Trends

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market (By Type: High Temperature, Low Temperature; By Application: Automotive, Portable, Stationary, Others) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2023-2032

  • Last Updated : May 2023
  • Report Code : 2912
  • Category : Energy and Power

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market Size and Companies

The global proton exchange membrane fuel cells market size accounted for USD 7.15 billion in 2022 and is expected to hit around USD 31.35 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 15.93% during the forecast period 2023 to 2032.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Market Size 2023 To 2032

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Key Takeaways:

  • North America held the highest market share in 2022.
  • By Type, the high temperature segment held the maximum market share in 2022.
  • By Application, the automotive segment has generated more than 30% of revenue share in 2022.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market in the Asia Pacific 2023 To 2032

The Asia Pacific proton exchange membrane fuel cells market size was valued at USD 2.97 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 11.02 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 15.70% from 2023 to 2032.

Asia Pacific Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market Size 2023 To 2032

The market is spread across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. North America held the largest share of the global proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market in 2022. The U.S. held the largest share followed by Canada and Mexico in 2022. North America is the most technically advanced continent with the presence of countries with beneficial economic policies, high (GDP) gross domestic product, an ecosystem of well-established electronics infrastructure, and early adoption of the latest technologies.

The European proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market is segmented into Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Rest of Europe. Germany is expected to hold the largest share in the Europen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market during the study period.

Rising funding in the automotive domain is anticipated to support the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market growth remarkably. Fuel cell electric vehicles can produce electricity using a fuel cell powered with hydrogen, instead of deriving electricity from just a battery. Europe is anticipated to experience remarkable growth on account of the rising production of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is segmented into India, China, Japan, South Korea, and the rest of the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. China dominated the Asia Pacific region followed by Japan and India in 2022. As per the International Trade Administration, the Japanese government subsidy for buying new electric vehicles accounted for $18,500 for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV).

Latin America, Middle East, and African (LAMEA) proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells sector is segmented into North Africa, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, and the Rest of LAMEA. The Middle East and the Latin America region are anticipated to have notable growth in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market during the forecast period. Brazil held the largest share in the LAMEA region in 2022. Due to low literacy, uncertainty, and civil war in African countries, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market in Africa is expected to grow at a comparatively slow rate.

Market Overview:

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are utilized in automobiles. These fuel cells use oxygen from air and hydrogen fuel to produce electricity. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell is a kind of electrochemical energy conversion technology which can be used for converting the chemical energy of fuels directly to electricity.

Rising concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions combined with supporting government policies are expected to boost the requirement for PEMFCs. PEMFCs are majorly developed for stationary fuel-cell applications, transport applications, and portable fuel-cell applications.

Companies such as Ballard Power and W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. hold a notable share in the global PEM fuel cells market owing to high investments in the proton exchange membrane capabilities.

The increasing adoption of medium, commercial, light, and heavy-duty automobiles is anticipated to further foster the demand for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. PEMFCs feature high-power density and can function even at low temperatures. This makes proton exchange membrane fuel cells useful for numerous stationary applications.

The US Department of Energy has provided $3 million to Cummins. This $3 million will be used for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems for heavy-duty applications. The funding from the United States government is driving the development and deployment of proton exchange membrane fuel cells across the North American region. The stringent regulations with respect to carbon emissions and Carbon Pollution Standards introduced by the U.S. EPA are supporting the adoption of proton exchange membrane fuel cells considerably. The global proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells industry is expected to gain traction due to the growing inclination of automotive manufacturers towards fuel cell electric vehicles.

Government authorities in Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom (UK), Mexico, South Korea, and Germany have implemented numerous policies for developing H2-based fuels. Also, the development of various hydrogen refueling stations is expected to support the growth of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells market size. In 2019, the South Korean government reported that it has decided to construct hydrogen refueling stations as per its policy which encourages the use of clean energy in the automobile sector.

Report Scope of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Market:

Report Coverage Details
Market Size in 2023 USD 8.29 Billion
Market Size by 2032 USD 31.35 Billion
Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032 CAGR of 15.93%
Largest Market North America
Base Year 2022
Forecast Period 2023 to 2032
Segments Covered By Type and By Application
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa


Market Dynamics:

Proton exchange membrane fuel cell is emerging as promising alternative to fossil fuels. The potential to decrease overall energy consumption makes proton exchange membrane fuel cell fuel cells suitable for a variety of applications. In the past few years, research interest in proton exchange membrane fuel cells is increasing owing to growth in green energy requirements.

A demonstration indicated that the economic and technical viability of deploying 1 kW - 10 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with 72 hours of on-site fuel storage can offer efficient power backup for utility networks and cell phone tower sites. The expansion of the telecommunication network is creating significant scope for proton exchange membrane fuel cells respectively.

The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells industry players can consider expansions, collaborations, joint ventures, acquisitions, and partnerships in order to advance the scope for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. However, the high cost associated with particular proton exchange membrane fuel cells can hinder the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market growth to some extent during the forecast period.

Moreover, in order to gain further access to the regional markets, companies can undertake various strategic initiatives including the expansion of existing product portfolio. These initiatives may result in more intensive rivalry over the forecast period. Additionally, rapidly evolving fuel cell technology can make the existing fuel cell technology obsolete very soon. This further intensifies the market competition among the prominent players.

Since the count of proton exchange membrane fuel cell providers (suppliers) is less in comparison to the count of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers is relatively higher as compared to the bargaining power of buyers. Owing to considerable profit margins, the threat of new entrants in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market is moderate as of now.

Our proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells report includes an in-depth analysis of the recent market situation. The report covers numerous factors such as key players, competitive landscape, ongoing trends, and regional analysis. The analytical research on the impact of the COVID-19 situation helps in determining the effects on the supply and demand side. The segmental analysis provides a clear view of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell variants and particular applications.

COVID-19 Impact:

The pandemic of COVID-19 had an adverse impact on the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells market. The COVID-19 outbreak affected production activities owing to the shutdown of manufacturing facilities during lockdowns.  With the stringent social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns, the manufacturing units of different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were completely shut down, and raw material transport was halted.

As the movement of individuals was reduced, the need for an automobile was decreased exponentially. Also, due to salary cuts or job loss, the buying power of the end user also decreased substantially. In Ireland, the car market declined by 18% due to the uncertainty prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A drastic negative impact on the automobile industry impacted the demand for proton exchange membrane fuel cells enormously.

With the opening of economies from the 2nd quarter of 2022, the situation began coming back to normalcy. The demand for proton exchange membrane fuel cells has been increasing gradually since the 2nd quarter of 2022.

Type Insights:

Based on type, the high temperature segment held the largest market share in 2022. The high-temperature segment is expected to hold a significant market share during the forecast period. The high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) utility with respect to systems requirements keeps evolving from time to time.

Usually, the HT-PEMFC system is utilized in hybrid operation with a battery. The HT-PEMFC systems fueled with natural gas can also be useful for combined heat and power applications in buildings.

For operating HT-PEMFC in a preferable situation, a suitable controller and system are highly essential. The low-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (LT-PEMFC) can be operated around 60 to 80 °C while the HT-PEMFC can be operated above 120 °C up to 200 °C.

The LT-PEMFC generally utilizes perfluorosulfonic acid (Nafion) as the membrane. Since Nafion is sensitive to fluctuations in its internal moisture level, the LT-PEMFC functions at temperatures less than 100 °C.

Application Insights:

Based on applications, the automotive segment had the highest revenue share in 2022. The automotive segment is expected to dominate the market during the study period.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Market Share, By Application, 2022 (%)

Among the most common forms of fuel cells for automobile applications is the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. In the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, the electrolyte membrane is fixed in between an anode (a negative electrode) and a cathode (a positive electrode). In the simulation of automotive PEMFC during the cold start, a major modification is advised to be done on the water transport submodel.

The proton exchange membrane fuel cells can be broadly used in various forklifts, automobiles, backup power systems, and telecommunication applications. Product versatility and high efficiency are anticipated to allow the stationary segment to maintain a steady position in the market share. Being environmentally friendly, proton exchange membrane fuel cell is preferred in transportation in order to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). Since the fuel cell is of small size, the proton exchange membrane fuel cells can become a preferred alternative for various portables.

Recent Developments:

  • In March 2021, Ballard Power System reported that Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) powered by Ballard systems are driven more than 75 million kilometers. Around 80% of this 75-million-kilometer milestone is from the fuel cell electric vehicles deployed in China. Ballard Power System offers proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell products and technology for medium-duty and commercial heavy applications.
  • In March 2023, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for supporting the development of electrolyzer technology and high-throughput manufacturing of fuel cells. The funding of up to $750 million will emphasize on innovations in recycling and recovery for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The FOA identifies proton exchange membrane (PEM) as one of the electrolyzer technologies that possess the greatest commercial and technological maturity.

Key Market Players:

  • Altergy
  • AVL
  • Ballard Power Systems
  • Cummins Inc.
  • ElringKlinger AG
  • Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies
  • Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc.
  • Intelligent Energy Limited
  • ITM Power PLC
  • Loop Energy Inc.
  • Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV
  • NUVERA FUEL CELLS, LLC
  • Plug Power Inc.
  • PowerCell Sweden AB
  • W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

Segments Covered in the Report:

By Type

  • High Temperature
  • Low Temperature

By Application

  • Automotive
  • Portable
  • Stationary
  • Others

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

The global proton exchange membrane fuel cells market size is expected to increase USD 31.35 billion by 2032 from USD 7.15 billion in 2022.

The global proton exchange membrane fuel cells market will register growth rate of 15.93% between 2023 and 2032.

The major players operating in the proton exchange membrane fuel cells market are Altergy, AVL, Ballard Power Systems, Cummins Inc., ElringKlinger AG, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc., Intelligent Energy Limited, ITM Power PLC, Loop Energy Inc., Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV, NUVERA FUEL CELLS, LLC, Plug Power Inc., PowerCell Sweden AB, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., and Others.

The driving factor of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells market is the increasing government initiatives for controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

North America region will lead the global proton exchange membrane fuel cells market during the forecast period 2023 to 2032.

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