February 08, 2011 10:08 ET

US, Germany and Japan Are Spearheading Fuel Cell R&D

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - February 8, 2011) - has announced the addition of GlobalData's new report "Fuel Cells -- Global Market Size, Technology Road -- Map, Regulations and Competitive Analysis to 2020" to their collection of Energy market reports. For more information, visit

Fuel cells are more efficient than combustion engines as they generate electricity electrochemically and not by burning fossil fuels. Since they can produce electricity onsite, the waste heat produced can also be used for heating purposes. Most of the fuel cells today operate at 40-60% fuel-to-electricity efficiency. Additionally, when used in combination with turbine fuel cells they can operate at more than 60% fuel efficiency. For co-generation purposes the efficiency of fuel cells can exceed 85%.

Fuel cells are the most promising clean technology that can be used to power transportation vehicles. Apart from meeting emissions legislation fuel cells are also required to reach operating temperature quickly. PEM fuel cells are best suited for this purpose because of their ability to operate at low temperatures and adjust quickly to changing load requirements. Fuel cells are used to power cars, buses, scooters, forklifts, auxiliary power units, trains, planes, and boats.

Fuel cells are a new technology, which is competing with conventional and other cheaper technologies. The technology is still evolving so economies of scale are not yet present. As well as this, most of the fuel cell technologies use precious metals such as platinum as their catalysts; this increases the cost of the design. In order to be competitive, fuel cell technology developers need to search for an effective, but less expensive option. Long-term demand for metals is expected to continue rising, mainly due to the increase in demand from countries like India and China. This high demand for metals is likely to cause metal prices to rise in the long term, which, in turn, will increase the prices of the fuel cell. The usage of expensive metals and the lack of economies of scale make the initial cost of fuel systems very high, causing potential customers to opt for other options.

The US, Germany and Japan are the major regions for fuel cell Research & Development (R&D) across the globe. These nations are home to some of the world's largest automobile manufacturers and leading research organizations. These organizations are undertaking lot of research to commercialize fuel cell technology in the coming years and make it more affordable.

GlobalData's Fuel Cells -- Global Market Size, Technology Road -- Map, Regulations and Competitive Analysis to 2020 provides an in-depth analysis of the global fuel cells market and gives growth projections up to 2020. The research analyzes key trends, major issues and growth opportunities in the global fuel cells market. Elaborate profiling of major market participants along with detailed analysis of the competitive scenario provides a comprehensive understanding of the global fuel cells market.

For more information, visit

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