Global sales of hydrogen vehicles fell by more than 30% last year, with China becoming world’s largest market




Only 14,451 fuel-cell vehicles were sold worldwide in 2023, compared to 20,704 in 2022, says Korean consultancy


Global sales of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) fell by more than 30% last year, with only China and the US seeing modest growth, according to figures compiled by Korean consultancy SNE Research.


Only 14,451 FCEVs were sold worldwide in 2023, compared to 20,704 in 2022 — a 30.2% slump, largely driven by a 55.2% fall in sales in South Korea.


This means that China overtook South Korea as the world’s largest FCEV market, with 5,600 sales, compared to 4,631.


According to SNE, the vast majority of FCEV sales in China — 5,362 — were for commercial vehicles, ie, trucks, vans and buses, which it attributes to Beijing’s plans to expand the supply of FCEVs and H2 infrastructure via its Hydrogen Energy Industry Mid- to Long-Term Development Plan (2021-35).


Sales of FCEVs in Japan fell by 49.9% last year to 424 — an 83% collapse since the 2,453 registered by SNE in 2022 — and slumped in Europe by 39.5% to 773. (Hydrogen Insight has previously published its own country-by-country breakdown of FCEV sales in Europe, which can be read here.)


Hydrogen FCEV sales in 2023 and 2022

Source: SNE Research


The global fall in FCEV sales was by far the largest since SNE began tracking the industry in 2017, with growth every year since, except a small fall in 2020.


The consultancy points out that despite last year’s drop in sales, FCEVs have still seen a global compound annual growth rate of 22.5% since 2017.


In terms of sales among the different manufacturers, SNE says that Hyundai has continued its lead in the hydrogen car market, selling 4,709 units of its Nexo FCEV last year, but adds that that represented a 55.9% decrease on the 11,179 of sales seen in 2022.


Toyota’s Mirai was in second place last year, with 3,737 units sold — a 3.9% increase compared to the 3,694 sold in 2022, while the Japanese auto maker also saw 102 units of its new Crown FCEV sedan sold in Japan in 2023.


These are the only hydrogen cars available around the world — outside China — although Honda plans to launch a fuel-cell version of its CR-V model in Japan and North America this year.



Hot News

FuelCellChina Interviews