US Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Sales Plummeted at the Start of 2023

US Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Sales Plummeted at the Start of 2023

May 30, 2023 4 By Tami Hood

H2-powered passenger vehicles saw a 30 percent reduction in sales during the first quarter.

Hydrogen fuel cell car sales in the United States, which have been quite limited to date, saw a striking decrease in the first quarter of 2023, having dropped by almost 30 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2022.

Sales of H2 passenger vehicles have been nearly non-existent in the US and now they’re dropping.

Even in California, which is the only state in which hydrogen fuel cell car sales are being made, sales are falling. This has caused many people to wonder whether H2 will ever be a going concern in the passenger vehicle market or if battery electric vehicles (EVs) have secured their hold on the zero-emission car market.

Data from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership showed that during the first quarter of this year, there were 725 new H2-powered passenger vehicles sold in the United States. The data was collected through Baum and Associates and “sales data is based on car sales sold by a dealer to a retail or fleet customer.”

The hydrogen fuel cell car sales were essentially insignificant compared to the 3.7 million total vehicles sold.

When compared to the total number of vehicles sold during Q1 2023, the 725 H2-powered vehicles barely existed. Comparatively, battery electric cars saw 257,507 new registrations during that same time period. This represented a year-over-year increase of 63 percent.

Hydrogen fuel cell car - EV Road

In California alone, there were 87,525 new battery electric vehicles registered in the first quarter, and another 16,470 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) sold in Q1.

That said, proponents of H2 and automakers in that market do not see the Q1 figures as necessarily disheartening. The reason is that it is a single quarter and not necessarily a trend. Looking one quarter earlier, into Q4 2022, there were 720 units sold, meaning that the number was essentially remaining steady, instead of experiencing a sheer drop as the quarter turned over.

Sales are needed soon

hydrogen news ebookStill, those figures remain quite small and without some new growth in hydrogen fuel cell car sales in coming quarters, it will be difficult to cut into a market that has become so heavily dominated by electric vehicles.

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