Suggested Citation: Lutsey, Nicholas P., Christie-Joy Brodrick, Daniel Sperling, Harry A. Dwyer (2003) Markets for Fuel-Cell Auxiliary Power Units in Vehicles. Transportation Research Record (1842), 118 - 126
Fuel cells are widely expected to replace internal combustion engines in vehicles. However, their high initial costs preclude their introduction into the mass market for some time. A new approach is needed that focuses on niche markets. The potential use of fuel cells in auxiliary power units (APUs) on board various types of automobiles and trucks—in luxury passenger automobiles, law enforcement vehicles, contractor trucks, specialized utility trucks, recreational vehicles, refrigerated trucks, and line-haul heavy-duty trucks—is explored. Power requirements, volume and weight targets, costs, market sizes, and potential benefits for several fuel cell technologies and fuels are analyzed. The attributes of market applications are matched with fuel cell attributes to assess the market potential of fuel-cell APUs. Although data are insufficient and more analysis is needed, several market applications apparently could play key roles in introducing fuel cell technologies to the transportation sector.