The two available series models Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo are only offered in California anyway and were sold 2,737 (Mirai) and 241 times (Nexo) last year. In total, 2,968 H2 cars were sold in the USA in 2023. Although this is ten per cent more than in 2022, the BEV market in the USA grew by 48 per cent to around 1.1 million units sold in 2023.
Even though both models are already somewhat outdated – given the rapid development of electrically powered cars – the low sales figures are not only due to the vehicles themselves, but also to the infrastructure. The latest figures from H2stations.org show that there are only 100 H2 refuelling stations in the whole of North America – 92 of them in the USA and just eight in Canada. And of the 92 US hydrogen refuelling stations, 75 are in California. However, there are also reports from the USA that several of these refuelling stations were “out of service due to technical problems or fuel shortages”, as InsideEVs reported in December.
In the car sector, this can sometimes lead to long detours for refuelling if you can’t get past one of the stations on regular routes. Not a problem for lorries with predictable and repetitive routes, but more of a problem for (private) cars.
In the US figures from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership, however, it is noticeable that FCEV sales slumped, especially in the fourth quarter of 2023 – without the 72 per cent decline compared to Q4 2022, there might have been a new record year. In California, however, hydrogen prices have recently risen enormously, in some cases to as much as 36 dollars per kilogramme at filling stations. This has rapidly dampened consumer interest – Toyota saw a drop of 80 per cent to just 133 Mirai in the fourth quarter.
In Japan, sales of hydrogen cars have reportedly fallen by 83 per cent over the past two years – to just 422 units in 2023.