The study “Hydrogen fuel cells for truck transport” contracted by the European Commission estimates a potential share of sales of hydrogen fuel cell trucks of about 17% of new trucks to be sold in 2030, based on a strong reduction of technological costs, according to CNR-CME.
According to the European Green Deal, hydrogen fuel cell technology (FCH HDT) is a promising zero-emission solution for the freight industry.
From a total cost (TCO) perspective, FCH can become cost-competitive by 2027 if production volume increases rapidly, as shown in a comparison of FCH trucks with those based on conventional diesel and other engines. Starting with 2027, the zero-emission FCH HDT will provide operational performance comparable to diesel trucks in terms of daily range, refueling time and payload capacity at a better TCO.
In the short term, a price increase of up to 22% is expected for FCH trucks compared to diesel trucks. The sale of FCH technology for the hydrogen industry is still in its infancy and the first truck products are only becoming available on the market.
The potential of the FCH HD truck market in Europe was analyzed for three use case segments (long, medium, short). The market can account for about 53% of sales in the freight market in Europe and up to 70% of emissions in this segment.
For these use cases and in the case of the three market adoption scenarios (conservative, basic, optimistic), the study projects a significant market potential for FCH in freight transport, with annual sales shares ranging between 16 and 51% in 2030. If this development can be achieved, FCH trucks are ready to become a cornerstone for achieving Europe’s CO2 reduction targets by 2050.