Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)
Hardman, Scott, Amrit Chandan, Robert Steinberger-Wilckens (2015) Fuel Cell Added Value for Early Market Applications. Journal of Power Sources 287 (August 2015), 297 - 306
Fuel Cells are often considered in the market place as just power providers. Whilst fuel cells do provide power, there are additional beneficial characteristics that should be highlighted to consumers. Due to the high price premiums associated with fuel cells, added value features need to be exploited in order to make them more appealing and increase unit sales and market penetration. This paper looks at the approach taken by two companies to sell high value fuel cells to niche markets. The first, SFC Energy, has a proven track record selling fuel cell power providers. The second, Bloom Energy, is making significant progress in the US by having sold its Energy Server to more than 40 corporations including Wal-Mart, Staples, Google, eBay and Apple. Further to these current markets, two prospective added value applications for fuel cells are discussed. These are fuel cells for aircraft APUs and fuel cells for fire prevention. These two existing markets and two future markets highlight that fuel cells are not just power providers. Rather, they can be used as solutions to many needs, thus being more cost effective by replacing a number of incumbent systems at the same time.
Keywords: fuel cell, market entry, strategy, Bloom Energy, SFC Energy, N2telligence