Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The market is segmented by Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World)

Market Snapshot

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) - Market Summary
Study Period: 2019-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: 18.43 %

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Market Overview

The global polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells market was valued at USD 2044.73 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 6270.43 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 18.43% during the forecast period of 2022-2027. During 2020, the impact on the market was mainly on the supply of raw material used for manufacturing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. The raw materials primarily include graphite, graphite composite, stainless steel, platinum, perfluorosulfonic acid, and sulfonated polymers. The commonly used electrolyte (perfluorosulfonic acid) which is majorly produced by countries like the United States and China witnessed a significant drop in its manufacturing. Major factors driving the market are increasing research & development (R&D) activities in the field of the fuel cell, which has led to several technological advantages, such as high power density, less time to refuel, longer storage durability, and more number of life-cycles of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells over its alternatives, such as Li-ion battery. This has been driving the adoption of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell-powered vehicles and is thus expected to drive the market during the forecast period. However, the current high cost of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell technology and availability of other viable energy systems in the market is expected to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.

  • Recent government initiatives along with growing private investment support is expected to drive the PEMFCs market during the forecast period..
  • The technological advancements in PEMFCs such as reducing the of share of platinum in the fuel cell which in turn decreases its final cost, is expected to create several opportunities in the market in the future.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the global polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells market in 2020, with China holding the major share. The major factors attributing to the growth are the policies initiated by various governments in countries, like China and Japan, to drive clean energy usage.

Scope of the Report

The polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) market report includes:

North America
Rest of the World

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Key Market Trends

Government Initiatives and Growing Private Investment expected to Drive the Market

  • The PEM fuel cell market witnessed significant growth in the last two years, mainly due to the introduction of government initiatives in key markets and increasing investment support from the private sector.
  • California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, a government initiative, in 2013, established long-term authority to co-fund the first 100 retail hydrogen stations. This encouraged the private sector to invest in the fuel cells market.
  • The California Fuel Cell Partnership aims for a network of 1,000 hydrogen stations and a fuel cell vehicle population of up to 1,000,000 vehicles by 2030. The target reflects the input and consensus of more than 40 partners, including fuel cell technology companies, automakers, energy companies, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and universities.
  • In Europe, the market was driven by the JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles), which seeks to deploy 139 new zero-emission fuel cell buses and refueling infrastructure across five countries by 2020. The JIVE started in January 2017 and is co-funded by EUR 32 million grant from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The project consortium involves 22 partners from seven countries.
  • Further, JIVE2 started in January 2018, and on a combined basis, the JIVE2 projects are expected to deploy around 300 fuel cell buses in 22 cities across Europe by the early 2020s.
  • Among fuel cells, the PEM type is the most popular one and is expected to play a crucial role in Europe's target for fuel cell deployment and drive the PEM fuel cells market.
  • Moreover, a new project in January 2020 to improve the power density of PEM fuel cells was taken up by the consortium consisting of two transport OEMs (Fuel Cell Powertrain and BMW), a fuel cell MEA supplier (Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells), one research institute (SINTEF) and two university institutes (Chemnitz University of Technology and IMTEK at the University of Freiburg).
  • The project's objective consists of understanding the charge, mass, and heat transport mechanism in new generation PEM fuel cell MEA (Membrane Electrode Assemblies) for automotive applications. The project has funding of EUR 2.3 million and will run from 2020-2022.
  • Hence, such government initiatives and investments are likely to propel the market during the forecast period.
  • Therefore, owing to the above points, government initiatives and growing private investments in PEMFCs technology is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market - Fuel cell Electric Vehicles Stock Share

Asia-Pacific Expected to Dominate the Market

  • Asia-Pacific is one of the promising regional markets for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, on account of the favorable government policies for clean energy usage in countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea.
  • China is considered to be the country with one of the highest potentials for PEMFC due to the following reasons:
  • The hydrogen fuel cell industry in the country has been gaining traction on the back of favorable national and provincial government subsidies and incentive programs from local authorities, mainly to encourage the uptake of hydrogen vehicles to cut pollution.
  • Along with the potentially large market, China also has numerous domestic enterprises that manufacture PEMFC. Hence, the demand and the domestic supply are present in the country, further bolstering the growth of the market.
  • Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, it was expected that, by 2022, China may have about 2000 vehicles running on hydrogen as fuel. The COVID-19 induced lockdown is expected to have a negative impact on the demand for fuel cell vehicles.
  • Numerous international companies, identifying China as the dominant player in the PEMFC market, started to form a joint venture with the Chinese counterparts, to develop fuel cell technology.
  • In June 2020, Toyota announced a joint venture with four other China-based companies, namely, Beijing SinoHytec, FAW, Dongfeng Motor, Guangzhou Automobile Group, and Beijing Automotive Group. The joint venture company, United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co. Ltd, has an estimated USD 47 million of initial investment.
  • Similarly, in September 2020, a Japanese consortium led by NYK Line launched a pilot project to demonstrate the operation of a high-powered fuel cell vessel by 2024, in order to commercialize such vessels by 2030, as a part of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping sector.
  • Therefore, owing to the above points, Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the market duirng the forecast period.
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market - Growth Rate by Region, 2022-2027

Competitive Landscape

The key players in the global polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells market is consolidated, with players, such as Ballard Power Systems, Plug Power Inc., ITM Power PLC, PowerCell Sweden AB, and Intelligent Energy Limited among others.

Recent Development

  • In September 2020, Ballard Power Systems launched its FCgen-HPS Product, a zero-emission, photon exchange membrane fuel cell stack for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles. The product was completely designed and developed by Ballard in association with Audi AG. The product is expected to have a power density of 4.3 kilowatts per liter, and power output of 140kW. Further, it has an operating temperature of -28°C to 95°C.
  • In June 2020, Panasonic Corporation launched a home-use fuel cell cogeneration system, named “Ene-Farm.” The system is expected to have around 97% efficiency, which can be used for various domestic purposes like electrical power supply, hot water supply, and heating during a power outage. The system complies with the ECHONET Lite Standard and can be remotely operated to a residence with Home Energy Management System

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD million, until 2027

    3. 4.3 Recent Trends and Developments

    4. 4.4 Research and Development Status

    5. 4.5 Government Policies and Regulations

    6. 4.6 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.6.1 Drivers

      2. 4.6.2 Restraints

    7. 4.7 Supply Chain Analysis

    8. 4.8 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.8.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.8.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.8.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.8.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.8.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Geography

      1. 5.1.1 North America

      2. 5.1.2 Europe

      3. 5.1.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.1.4 Rest of the World


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Cummins Inc. ​

      2. 6.3.2 Bramble Energy

      3. 6.3.3 Toshiba Corporation

      4. 6.3.4 Ballard Power Systems

      5. 6.3.5 Plug Power Inc.

      6. 6.3.6 ITM Power Plc

      7. 6.3.7 Powercell Sweden AB

      8. 6.3.8 Intelligent Energy Limited

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market market is studied from 2019 - 2027.

The Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market is growing at a CAGR of 18.43% over the next 5 years.

The Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market is valued at 2044 Million USD in 2019.

The Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market is valued at 6270 Million USD in 2027.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Ballard Power Systems Inc., Plug Power Inc., ITM Power PLC, PowerCell Sweden AB, Intelligent Energy Limited are the major companies operating in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) Market.

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