Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles & the Future of Sustainable Driving

New Intelligence Brief Weighs the Advantages of FCEVs over BEVs and Highlights Advancements in Fuel Cell Technologies

11 April 2022

Chicago, IL: PreScouter, a Chicago-based research intelligence firm, has compiled a new Intelligence Brief that examines technological advancements in the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) space and provides the state-of-art of the commercial vehicle space. With an estimated 4.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted each year from passenger vehicles, cutting vehicle emissions is the need of the hour, and FCEVs may be a more viable option than Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to do so in the years to come. 

The Intelligence Brief titled Are fuel cell electric vehicles better than battery electric vehicles? states that BEVs are the more favorable option today for reducing emissions in the absence of an infrastructure to support FCEVs. However, this could change within the next 5 to 10 years, according to PreScouter Subject Matter Expert and report author, Bostjan Hari, PhD. “This change will begin as investments in hydrogen production and infrastructure surge, pushing FCEVs to potentially surpass some segments of the BEV market and become the more sustainable option.” comments Dr. Hari.

The Intelligence Brief argues that, while automakers need to cut emissions to comply with new regulations, the lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) used in BEVs are projected to pose a grave environmental crisis as LIBs from these types of vehicles reach their end of life and in the absence of efficient recycling processes. Fuel cells, on the other hand, can be recyclable and thus more environmentally friendly energy systems.

LIBs may face another problem at the production end as well. “There will be another potential bottleneck in the near future for BEVs, as we have recently witnessed shortages of automotive electronic chips, which could last until 2023,” points out Dr. Hari. “Since all major automotive companies have started ramping up production of batteries (and competing with each other to secure raw materials) for their upcoming BEVs, there might be a problem with mining and supply chain of battery materials (cobalt, nickel, manganese), electrodes, or even copper for many wires needed in BEVs. If that indeed happens (and is very likely), companies that also manufacture FCEVs, such as Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, and JLR, could be in a much better position, because they could sell more FCEVs due to BEVs shortages. And that could change the minds of customers to switch to FCEVs. The future looks exciting and uncertain at the same time.” 

In addition to discussing the advantages of FCEVs over BEVs, the Intelligence Brief takes a look at FCEV market segments today by profiling innovations from 11 automotive companies that range in technological maturity from prototypes to trials and pilots to commercially available vehicles. These include the following passenger vehicle segments: sedans, SUVs, vans and supercars. 

The PreScouter Intelligence Brief also includes emerging technologies and market opportunities cited by Dr. Hari, who applies his years of experience as a battery systems engineer, also working with fuel cells, to identify where FCEVs hold the most promise within the passenger vehicle market in addition to what the next generation of FCEVs could look like. “Supercapacitors could potentially replace batteries in hybrid propulsion systems with fuel cells. This would be a good application in high-performance cars.”

About PreScouter, Inc.: PreScouter provides research support services to help business leaders make better R&D, product development, and corporate development decisions. PreScouter’s custom-selected teams of Advanced Degree Researchers and Subject Matter Experts connect business leaders with new markets, commercializable technologies, industry-impacting startups, and other actionable data. PreScouter’s growing list of 500+ clients includes Pepsi, BAE Systems, NASA, Airbus and Volvo. For more info, please visit

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