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ABI Research Revises Fuel Cell Vehicle Market Growth Estimates
[September 30, 2004]

ABI Research Revises Fuel Cell Vehicle Market Growth Estimates

Oyster Bay, NY - September 30, 2004 - ABI Research has just published "radically revised" forecasts for the growth in numbers of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

"We follow this market year-in, year-out," says director of energy research Atakan Ozbek. "We can adjust to critical trends as they develop. The last forecasts for this market's development must now be revised sharply downwards."

The main reasons for the slower growth do not lie with fuel cells themselves. "Improvement is needed in integration, membranes, and cost reduction," says Ozbek, "but good progress is being made."

Instead, the stumbling block is the lack of a viable network of hydrogen refueling stations. Without that, no practical deployment of fuel cell vehicles can proceed. (Hydrogen infrastructure will be the subject of an upcoming ABI Research study.)

To be sure, some fueling stations exist in California, and elsewhere. The Clean Urban Transportation for Europe initiative is putting stations in nine major EU cities.

But Ozbek believes that the industry will not begin real growth without clearer government commitments at both national and local levels, commitments that would get the energy companies involved.

Japan did set an unrealistic goal of 50,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2010. But it's not enough. If a major government operating a large vehicle fleet committed to a 10% conversion to fuel cells and laid out a roadmap for getting there, that would send a powerful message.

In a move Ozbek sees as very positive, China aims to have a large fleet of fuel-cell vehicles ready for the 2008 Olympics. But despite oil's obvious shortcomings, most governments still hesitate to spend enough money to kick-start this untested new industry.

The new regional forecasts are contained in the ABI Research report, "Fuel Cells for Vehicles," which updates the analysis of the sector by end-use market applications: passenger vehicles, buses, trucks, and niche vehicles.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, quarterly intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. Their market research products can be found on the web at, or by calling 516.624.3113.

Contact: Beth Schechner | Tel: 516-624-3113 | Fax: 516-624-3115 | [email protected]

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