COVID-19 Restrictions on Travel, Public Transportation Draw Emphasis on Hydrogen Technology

Long-term policy adjustments are being made by the United Nations to cater to sustainable development goals, owing to the impetus of COVID-19 pandemic. This is acting as an advantage for companies in the fuel cell bipolar plate market, as stakeholders are scurrying toward opportunities to rethink and reshape the current energy systems dominated by high carbon emission fossil fuels.

As consumers are becoming aware about how the coronavirus outbreak naturally reduced worldwide carbon emissions due to the standstill of factories, businesses, travel, and trade, consumers are becoming cognizant about the hydrogen technology in electric vehicles (EVs). Manufacturers in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are capitalizing on this opportunity to increase their marketing capabilities for hydrogen technology in EVs.

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Sustainability, Durability Issues with Metal-based Bipolar Plates Inhibit Market Growth

The fuel cell bipolar plate market is projected to grow at an explosive CAGR of 57.5% during the forecast period. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are being highly publicized for the lowering of toxic gases during the electrochemical processes in fuel stacks. However, challenges associated with bipolar plates made with metal materials and its associated sustainability & durability are posing as technical issues. Hence, companies in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are experimenting with stainless steel, copper, nickel, and other material candidates to deploy sustainability in materials choices of bipolar plates.

The high precision processing technology of extremely thin material thickness is delivering weight reduction in fuel stacks.

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Ultralight, Compact Bipolar Plates Gain Prominence in PEM Fuel Cells

The fuel cell bipolar plate market is estimated to reach the revenue of US$ 4.4 Bn by 2030. Manufacturers are boosting their R&D muscle to develop ultralight and compact carbon-based bipolar plates made for PEM fuel cells. For instance, HYCCO is a developer of hydrocarbon components for fuel cells is gaining recognition for manufacturing highly electrically conductive bipolar plates that are durable and do not compromise on the system’s compactness.

Companies in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are adapting their chemistry to manufacture long lasting components that seamlessly integrate into vehicle systems. They are increasing the availability of bipolar plates that are suitable for both low temperature and high temperature PEM fuel cells.

Turnkey Bipolar Plates Offer Low Cost Product Solutions for Advanced Fuel Engines

Investments in R&D is becoming increasingly commonplace for the breakthrough hydrogen technology. Dana— a global leader in drivetrain and e-Propulsion systems is boosting production of bipolar plates with integrated seals and coatings that offer reliable and low cost product solutions for advanced fuel engines. As such, manufacturers in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are experimenting with metal and molded composite plate materials designed to meet a wide range of fuel cell applications.

Precision stamping, laser welding, and integrates seals in bipolar plates are being preferred by carmakers. Companies in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are increasing the availability of turnkey components that lower system cost.

Continuous Production of Foil-based Graphite Bipolar Plates Drives Market

Companies in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are setting their collaboration wheels in motion to collaborate with engineers and experts that advance in CAD (Computer Aided Design) development of components. ZBT GmbH— a research institute in Duisburg, Germany, is gaining proficiency in manufacturing high performance bipolar plate and sealing solutions for PEM fuel cell stacks.

Manufacturers in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are increasing their R&D in innovative design layout and material development to improve the qualification of stack components. They are facilitating the construction and testing of short stacks and full stacks. On the other hand, manufacturers are adopting continuous production of foil-based graphite bipolar plates. They are producing thin-walled graphite bipolar plates that deliver high corrosion resistance.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Government and environment organizations are offering lucrative opportunities to companies in the clean fuel energy segment, owing to benefits of the COVID-19 impact on reducing the worldwide carbon footprint. Manufacturers in the fuel cell bipolar plate market are increasing efforts to boost the power density of fuel cell stacks in compact vehicle drive systems. However, sustainability and longevity of metal-based bipolar plates are adding to the concern of component manufacturers. Hence, companies should experiment with new material candidates, such as stainless steel and nickel to overcome sustainability and durability concerns of metal-based bipolar plates in fuel cell stacks. As such, manufacturers are offering customer specific solutions to OEMs for delivering presses designed for bipolar plate production.

Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest research report on the global fuel cell bipolar plate market for the historical period 2019and the forecast period of 2020 to 2030, increase in demand for fuel cell in end-use industries, primarily in automotive, is a key factor that is expected to boost the global fuel cell bipolar plate market during the forecast period
  • In terms of revenue, the global fuel cell bipolar plate market is estimated to reach US$ 4Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 57.5% during the forecast period. In terms of material, graphite is anticipated to be a highly lucrative segment of the global fuel cell bipolar plate market during the forecast period, due to the low contact resistance and high chemical stability offered by graphite even in acidic conditions with pH < 4. In terms of application, the proton exchange membrane fuel cells segment held a key share of the global fuel cell bipolar plate market in 2019.

Rise in Government Initiatives to Promote Fuel Cell Projects: Key Driver of Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Market

  • Rise in awareness about green energyand implementation of stringent government rules and regulations on emission of greenhouse gases and carbon are compelling companies to introduce highly effective and pollution-free energy generation methods. Fuel cell is a prominent alternative for energy generated from fossil fuels.
  • Governments across the globe are promoting fuel cell projects. Governments are providing subsidies to fuel cell manufacturers and on purchase of fuel cell-operated vehicles.
  • For instance, the Government of China introduced a new policy to offer subsidies to the whole fuel cell value chain. The policy would provide funding to city or cluster of cities, which meet the criteria, such as meeting technical parameters on the power density of fuel cells, achieving a minimum range according to type of vehicle, and putting at least 1,000 vehicles in the city or city cluster. The policy offers US$ 220Mn for the next four years depending on the criteria, the city, or cluster meet. Furthermore, they would get additional US$ 3 Mn for developing refueling infrastructure. These subsidies could support the introduction of between 37,500–60,000 vehicles between 2020 and 2023.
  • All these government initiatives are expected to propel the demand for fuel cells. The fuel cell bipolar plate market directly depends on the sale of fuel cells. Thus, rise in government initiatives to promote fuel cell projects is anticipated to boost the demand for fuel cell bipolar plate during the forecast period.

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Rise in Applications of Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell consumption has been increasing significantly due to a surge in investment in generation of clean energy, primarily in developed and developing economies. Increase in focus to reduce carbon emissions and rapid exhaustion of fossil fuel resources, along with significantly rising demand for electricity in rural areas, are a few key factors propelling investment in the generation of clean energy.
  • Demand for fuel cell bipolar plate is directly linked to the sales of proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Fuel cell bipolar plates uniformly distribute fuel gas and air, conduct electrical current from cell to cell, remove heat from the active area, and prevent leakage of gases and coolant. This, in turn, makes the adoption of fuel cell bipolar plate viable within proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
  • Thus, rise in demand for proton exchange membrane fuel cell is estimated to boost the demand for fuel cell bipolar plate

Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Market: Competition Landscape

  • Detailed profiles of companies operating in the global fuel cell bipolar plate market have been provided in the report to evaluate their financials, key product offerings, recent developments, and strategies
  • The global fuel cell bipolar plate materials market is consolidated. The global fuel cell bipolar plate market is in the development phase. Key players operating in the global fuel cell bipolar plate market are
    • POCO
    • Interplex Holdings Pte. Ltd.
    • Shanghai Hongfeng Industrial Co.,Ltd.
    • Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    • Aperam, Dana Limited
    • Cell Impact
    • Impact Coatings AB
    • PRAGMA INDUSTRIES
    • TECHNICAL FIBRE PRODUCTS
    • Schunk Carbon Technology
    • Nisshinbo Chemical Inc.
    • Veco B.V.

Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Market: Strategic Partnerships

  • Prominent companies operating in the global fuel cell bipolar plate market, such as Impact Coatings AB, Cell Impact, and Dana Limited are focusing on recent development activities to expand their footprint. Other key strategies in the global fuel cell bipolar plate market are highlighted below:
    • In October 2019, Impact Coatings and Hyundai Motor Company entered into a joint development agreement regarding cooperation in the development of coating technology for metal bipolar plates, a key component of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Additionally, the Board of Directors of Impact Coatings proposed a directed new share issue to Hyundai and Accendo Capital, and Hyundai nominates candidate to the Impact Coatings board, both subject to approval by an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders.
    • In April 2019, Dana Incorporated, a subsidiary of Dana Limited, applied its extensive fuel cell expertise to design and manufacture composite and metallic bipolar plates for public transportation systems, such as eBus and hydrail applications. Developing and validating fuel-cell component solutions for emerging, environment-friendly public transportation vehicles is another milestone in Dana’s efforts to enable the commercialization of fuel-cell applications.
  • In the global fuel cell bipolar plate market report, we have discussed individual strategies, followed by company profiles of providers of solar shades. The ‘Competition Landscape’ section has been included in the report to provide readers with a dashboard view and company market share analysis of key players operating in the global fuel cell bipolar plate market.

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