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Sales Of Hydrogen Cars Plunge

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Sales of hydrogen fuel cell cars (FCEVs) have fallen dramatically globally, with a 70% decline in the United States during the first quarter of 2024. This reduction underscores the persistent obstacles confronting hydrogen car technology, such as insufficient infrastructure for filling, exorbitant expenses, and intense rivalry from progressively more efficient battery-electric vehicles.

Drop In Hydrogen Car Sales In The U.S.

With just 223 cars sold in the first quarter of 2024, U.S. sales of hydrogen cars saw a sharp 70% fall, making it the weakest first quarter since 2016. Both of the available models were impacted by this severe decline: sales of the Hyundai Nexo fell by 22% to 51 units and sales of the Toyota Mirai fell by 74% to 172 units. The main market for FCEVs in the US, California, has seen a particularly sharp fall in demand for these vehicles due to a number of concerns, including limited model availability, infrastructural problems, and growing hydrogen fuel costs.

Infrastructure Difficulties

The main U.S. market for hydrogen-powered vehicles, California, had just 55 retail hydrogen stations as of early 2024; more were being built or awaiting permits. The infrastructure issue was made worse by the closing of all seven Shell hydrogen refueling facilities in California in February 2024. The adoption of FCEVs has been significantly hampered by the inadequate network of refueling stations, which presents special difficulties for private vehicle owners who would have to take detours in order to locate refueling stations that are operating. Inadequate infrastructure has caused operational difficulties and the temporary closure of several stations in addition to impeding sales.

Competition And High Costs

Sales of hydrogen fuel cell cars (FCEVs) have been dropping in large part due to their high pricing. The two most popular FCEV models in the United States are the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai, which are priced at approximately $50,000 and $60,000, respectively. This makes them significantly more costly than many battery electric vehicles (EVs). Furthermore, the price of hydrogen fuel has increased, with costs in California reaching as high as $36 per kilogram. In the state, sales of Toyota Mirais fell by 80% in the fourth quarter of 2023 as a result of this price rise. As this is going on, EVs have significantly improved in terms of range, charging efficiency, and affordability, which has further reduced the market attraction of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Trends In Hydrogen Vehicles Worldwide

Just 2,382 hydrogen-powered cars were sold globally in the first quarter of 2024, a 36.4% year-over-year decline in sales. In South Korea and the US, this fall was very sharp, most likely as a result of large fuelling outages and sharp rises in the price of hydrogen fuel in 2023. Nevertheless, sales in Europe and Japan more than doubled, defying the overall trend. Notwithstanding these pockets of expansion, the market as a whole is still tiny, with sales of electric vehicles anticipated to reach 17 million worldwide in 2024, hydrogen vehicles making up a very minor portion of the total.