Sales of the hydrogen fuel cell cars never were particularly high in the U.S., reminding us of a pilot project at best. Since the peak in 2018 (barely higher than 2017), the FCV "market" is shrinking.
After a 12% decline in 2019, the volume more than halved in 2020 to less than a thousand units sold.
Let's take a quick look at the stats provided by the California Fuel Cell Partnership for the year 2020:
- Toyota Mirai - 499 (down 67% from 1,502)
- Hyundai NEXO - 208 (down 22% from 267)
- other models* - 230 (down 28% from 320)
- Total: about 937 (down 55%, from 2,089)
* data for Honda Clarity Fuel Cell are unknown.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Sales In U.S. - 2020
As we can see, everything is going down. If it was a promising segment, we would see quite a different chart.
Surely, the governments and some manufacturers can push the volume up in the following years, mostly through generous incentives, but we generally don't see the future of hydrogen fuel cell cars. At this point, battery-electric cars won the race.
Through the past nine years, only 8,931 new hydrogen fuel cell cars were sold in the U.S. There are also 48 hydrogen buses in operation in California.
As of January 20, 2021, the number of open retail hydrogen stations in California (the top market for FCVs) stands at 43, which barely changed over the year.
The only positive news is that at least several new stations will be launched in 2021. See the full list of hydrogen infrastructure here.
Well, we remain doubtful about the viability of FCVs, especially considering the huge wave of new mainstream battery electric vehicles.