Both Japanese and South Korean automakers are optimistic about commercializing fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015, says Frost & Sullivan.
Mr. Vijayendra Rao, Research Manager at Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Practice, Asia Pacific said that in 2011, the market for fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan and South Korea is limited to concept cars or fuel cell electric vehicles leased to fleets in urban areas.
"The OEMs are prepared for a 2015 commercialization of the FCEV market. Key Japanese auto OEMs such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan and South Korea's Hyundai//Kia are preparing their FCEV models for commercialization," he added.
Mr. Rao also said that cities in Japan such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka and Seoul and Ulsan in South Korea are targeted by OEMs for commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com) CEO's 360 Degree Analysis of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Market in Japan and South Korea finds that fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan and South Korea are expected to increase to 58,100 units in 2020 from 600 units in 2011.
Mr. Rao said that the Japanese and South Korean Governments play a key supporting role in commercialization of FCEVs. She added that the Japanese government offers support for research and development, subsidizes hydrogen station infrastructure while the South Korean government offers funds and subsidies for R&D and is setting up hydrogen infrastructure along with oil companies.
He also said that Japanese and South Korean auto OEMs are working in close co-ordination with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers such as Nuvera and Ballast in Japan and LG Chem in South Korea to develop a robust and reliable supply chain.
Mr. Rao said that most OEMs in Japan and South Korea are likely to be focused on medium segment passenger FCEVs.
He noted that in 2011, 22 hydrogen refueling stations were operational in Japan and South Korea with 11 in each country.
"Both the Japanese and South Korean governments are working towards the development of hydrogen refueling infrastructure that is expected to grow to 1,452 stations in 2020," he added.
Mr. Rao said that Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Japan is expected to be the market leader in the fuel cell electric vehicle market in Japan and South Korea in 2020 with a 41.8 percent market share. South Korea's Hyundai and Japan's Toyota are expected to command market shares of 17.4 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively.
Mr. Rao said that several fleet operators in Japan are leasing FCEV concept cars to test their levels of efficiency and suitability. He added that OEMs need to spread consumer awareness on the benefits of the fuel cell electric vehicles through promotional programs and educating consumers before full scale commercialization.
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