This article spotlights the current deployment status of fuel cells in road transport.

Article on Deployment of Fuel Cell Vehicles and Hydrogen Refueling Station Infrastructure for 2021 online


This article spotlights the current deployment status of fuel cells in road transport. For this purpose, data collection was performed by the Advanced Fuel Cells Technology Collaboration Programme. Moreover, the available incentives for purchasing a fuel cell vehicle in different countries were reviewed and future perspectives summarized. Based on the collected information, the development trends in the last five years were analyzed and possible further trends that could see the realization of the defined goals derived.

The number of registered vehicles was estimated to be 51,437 units, with South Korea leading the market, with 90% of the vehicles being concentrated in four countries. A total of 729 hydrogen refueling stations were in operation, with Japan having the highest number of these. The analysis results clearly indicate a very positive development trend for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations in 2021, with the highest number of new vehicles and stations in a single year, paralleling the year’s overall economic recovery. Yet, a more ambitious ramp-up in the coming years is required to achieve the set targets.

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The Technology Collaboration Programme on the Research, Development and Demonstration on Advanced Fuel Cells (Advanced Fuel Cells Technology Collaboration Programme, AFC TCP) functions within a framework created by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The activities of the AFC TCP are coordinated by the IEA’s Working Party on Energy End-use Technologies (EUWP). Views, findings and publications of the AFC TCP do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of its individual member countries.