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Fuel cells – A realistic alternative for zero emission?

2014

Fuel-cell vehicles could be an attractive alternative to battery-powered cars in realizing zero-emission vehicles. Fuel cells have long been considered a promising technology for circumventing the problem of limited battery range. However, success depends heavily on the price. "So far the high production costs of fuel-cell systems and the lack of infrastructure have prevented the long anticipated launch on the mass market," says Wolfgang Bernhart, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "Even though the costs for manufacturing fuel-cell systems will drop considerably in the future, major technical obstacles must first be overcome before fuel cells achieve a breakthrough in the automotive sector."

Our study entitled "Fuel cells – A realistic alternative for zero emission?" paints a fairly bleak picture of this technology over the medium term. According to our experts it will be possible to cut production costs for fuel-cell systems by up to 80% by 2025. Even though this will provide fuel-cell technology with initial business opportunities, this reduction will still not be enough to achieve a breakthrough on the market.

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