Portable Fuel Cell: Introduction

  • The global portable fuel cell market is expected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period owing to its benefits such as long duration and clean electric power generation in various off-grid situations
  • Portable applications primarily include consumer electronics such as laptops, tablets, mobiles, and cameras. Portable fuel cell is also used in battery chargers and torches. Furthermore, it is employed in military applications. However, its market is small, as fuel cells are required in small quantities.
  • Rapid industrialization and high demand for electricity require efficient utilization of resources of energy. This has resulted in a shift toward the adoption of clean and emission-free energy resources such as electricity generation through the use of fuel cells.
  • Increase in demand for consumer electronics, which includes laptops, tablets, and mobiles, is expected to drive the portable fuel cell market during the forecast period.

Key Drivers and Restraints of Portable Fuel Cell Market

  • Portable fuel cells can provide backup ranging from a short-term period to long-term periods of eight hours to three days. The backup continues as long as the fuel is supplied in time.
  • Portable fuel cells do not occupy much space. They can be integrated in various machines such as refrigerators. Overheating causes issues in conventional batteries.  This issue is resolved by portable fuel cells, as they are known to operate at a temperature lower than the conventional batteries.
  • Backup power systems need to be reliable. Portable fuel cells enhance the reliability of backup power systems. These cells are known to deliver continuous power during power failures with less than a minute maintenance in six years of tenure. Portable fuel cells have parts that do not vibrate; hence, they are less noisy and require low maintenance than generators or existing backup power options.
  • Large investments in research and development and low production of portable fuel cells result in high cost. This acts as an inhibiting factor for the portable fuel cell market.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

  • Governments of various countries have enforced nationwide lockdowns as part of measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, manufacturing facilities of consumer electronics have come to a halt across the globe. This has hampered the demand for portable fuel cells, as portable fuel cells are used in consumer electronics to provide continuous power supply for proper functioning of electronic devices. Demand for consumer electronics has decreased due to the lockdown measures implemented by countries during the pandemic.

Consumer Electronics End-user Segment Expected to Hold Prominent Share of Global Market

  • The global portable fuel cell market can be segmented based on type, end-user, and region
  • Based on type, global portable fuel cell market can be segregated into proton exchange membrane fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell, solid oxide fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell, and others
  • Based on end-user, global portable fuel cell market can be divided into military, marine, consumer electronics, automotive, and others. Consumer electronics was a highly attractive segment of the global portable fuel cell market in 2020. The segment is expected to continue to be attractive during the forecast period, as portable fuel cells offer clean, efficient, and reliable off-grid power to businesses, telecommunication networks, etc.
  • Portable fuel cells require much less space than other clean energy technologies. These cells can power anything ranging from a laptop to a single-family home and even higher requirements such as 200 kW.

Asia Pacific Expected to Constitute Major Share of Global Portable Fuel Cell Market

  • In terms of region, the global portable fuel cell market can be divided into Middle East & Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America
  • Asia Pacific accounted for leading share of the global portable fuel cell market in 2020, led by the rise in demand for electricity in costumer electronics devices such as laptops, tablets, mobiles, and cameras. A few countries in the region such as China and South Korea provide subsidy on the installation of portable fuel cells. This is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
  • Japan and South Korea are key countries of the portable fuel cell market in Asia Pacific. Large numbers of fuel cell manufacturers, such as Doosan Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., and Panasonic Corporation, are located in these countries.
  • Zero emissions, carbon-free transportation, and stringent government regulations to minimize carbon emissions have boosted the demand for portable fuel cells in Europe. Fuel cell technologies are benefitting from various European programs focusing on smart grids, renewable energy storage, and clean urban transportation.
  • Middle East & Africa offers immense potential for investors in the fuel cell industry. The market size is small in the region; however, there exists vast potential for fuel cell products due to the growth of clean and efficient energy systems.
  • Awareness about the benefits of electricity generation from portable fuel cells is high in developed countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Rapid growth in population, followed by high demand for electricity, has resulted in a paradigm shift toward alternate sources of electricity generation such as fuel cells. Thus, demand for fuel cells is anticipated to increase in these countries during the forecast the period.

Key Players Operating in Global Market

Key companies operating in the global portable fuel cell market are

  • AFC Energy PLC
  • Bloom Energy
  • Ballard Power Systems Inc.
  • Doosan Corporation
  • FuelCell Energy, Inc.
  • Hydrogenics Corporation
  • Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology B.V.
  • Plug Power, Inc.
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • SFC Energy AG
  • Toshiba Corporation
  • Intelligent Energy Limited
  • Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.

Global Portable Fuel Cell Market: Research Scope

Global Portable Fuel Cell Market, by Type

  • Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC)
  • Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC)
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)
  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)
  • Others

Global Portable Fuel Cell Market, by End-user

  • Military
  • Marine
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Others

Global Portable Fuel Cell Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Portable Fuel Cell Market