Hydrogen refuelling stations will see sixfold increase by 2030 — with almost half in China analyst



Only 1,068 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) were built worldwide by the end of last year, but these numbers are set to skyrocket to 6,080 by 2030, according to data from market research firm Interact Analysis.


China, which already accounts for 359 of today’s sites, is set to have 2,879 HRSs in operation by the start of next decade, or nearly half the global stations predicted by that year.


Meanwhile, the research firm expects 1,562 stations to be in operation worldwide by 2025.


Interact Analysis also notes that while almost three quarters of hydrogen filling stations in operation today have a refuelling capacity of 500 kilograms a day or less, China and the US are leading when it comes to the installation of sites with a daily capacity of more than 1,000kg (one tonne).


The research firm adds that 42% of operational HRSs are dedicated towards commercial vehicles, with 36% for passenger vehicles.

However, global sales and registrations for fuel-cell cars have flagged in nearly every market outside of China and the US — which could suggest a realignment of HRSs towards serving commercial vehicles.


“Fuel cell commercial vehicles are expected to hit 141,000 units in 2030, and 328,000 units globally by 2035, while further developments in hydrogen power technology in other fields of transportation fields is [sic] also likely to drive the demand for infrastructure,” says Alastair Hayfield, senior research director at Interact Analysis.


Interact Analysis cites more favourable policies as a driver for the predicted sixfold increase in the number of hydrogen refuelling stations.


While it did not cite specific legislation, China’s federal government targets 1,200 sites by next year and the EU has passed its Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, which requires H2 filling stations to be built in every urban node (424 of them) and every 200km along the core routes of the planned Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) by 2030.


“However, HRS construction faces several challenges, including the need for large capital investment, high operational costs and technological challenges, with it taking as long as 2-3 years for a station to become operational,” Hayfield adds.


“HRS operators must also contend with strict safety regulations and significant costs due to elevated hydrogen prices and equipment maintenance.”




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