Fuel Cell UAV Market Expected to Reach $5.4 Billion by 2032

Fuel Cell UAV Market

Report Code : A10660

quote The global fuel cell UAV market is expected to witness significant growth, owing to the growth in the adoption of the smart technology in agricultural, mining, and construction for surveillance and rise in modernization & upgradation of the security agencies in various countries. Furthermore, encouraging regulations by the governing bodies in developed economies and eco-friendly objectives to eliminate emission rates propels the demand for fuel cell UAV. quote

Shantanu Barad - Lead Analyst
Aerospace and Defense at Allied Market Research

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According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Fuel Cell UAV Market," The fuel cell UAV industry size was valued at $1.6 billion in 2022, and is estimated to garner $5.4 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 13.4% from 2023 to 2032.

The concept of fuel cell UAVs is typically attributed to the transportation options that use propulsion technology, which does not produce internal combustion engine exhaust or other carbon emissions when it operates. It is primarily designed to replace conventional means of travel as they lead to environmental pollution. The fuel cell UAVs are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy from fuels & oxidizers, without combustion, into useful electrical energy that is used to power devices and vehicles. Recently, fuel cell UAVs have emerged as a viable alternative fuel to replace the conventional UAVs using gasoline or jet fuel for their operations, which are gradually depleting globally.

Moreover, major fuel cell UAV manufacturers collaborated to develop advanced UAVs. For instance, in November 2021, Intelligent Energy Limited collaborated with Chugoku Electric Power Transmission & Distribution Company, provider of electric power transmission and distribution solutions, to develop a drone using the fuel cell technology from Intelligent Energy Limited. Moreover, the IE-Soar 2.4kW hydrogen powered fuel cell module was used for powering the drone.

Moreover, in May 2022, ZeroAvia, Inc. entered into partnership with MHI RJ Aviation Group for the development of hydrogen-powered engine technology for commercial aviation. This partnership is expected to provide engineering services and aircraft integration in support of ZeroAvia’s pursuit of certification for its hydrogen-electric powertrain to retrofit onto regional jets.

Military agencies are key consumers of fuel cell UAV solutions & related services. The procurement activities of these fuel cell UAV solutions are planned by considering the budget allocations and security severity. The commencement of fuel cell UAV solutions is expected to be done through long-term agreements and contracts between the defense department and solution suppliers of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions. The contracts outline a series of criteria that need to be fulfilled within a specific timeframe, as the solutions are customized products tailored to the needs of the end user. These agreements present potential long-term business prospects with military organizations.

Furthermore, unmanned aerial vehicles enable cost-effective distribution expanses, effective reach that are difficult to access, and operational effective inventory management. The growing adoption of smart technology in the logistics and transportation front is expected to drive the growth of UAV for logistics and transportation application.

For instance, in December 2021, ZeroAvia, Inc. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to design & develop hydrogen-electric engines for both new and in-service Dash 8-400 aircraft.  It is considered as one of the most dependable turboprop aircraft globally, equipped with hydrogen electric propulsion and power-by-the-hour (PBH) assistance. As part of the MoU, ZeroAvia, Inc. is expected to create a flight demonstrator using a Dash 8-400 aircraft to showcase the operational & commercial potential of the engine prior to its certification. Thus, rise in public-private partnerships are expected to provide lucrative opportunities for the fuel cell UAV market globally.

In addition, it can also be refilled very quickly, whereas batteries can take many hours to fully recharge. For instance, in February 2021, Northwest UAV (NWUAV) completed a prototype hydrogen fuel cell that has been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The fuel cell has been specifically designed to meet the high power-to-weight ratio and different power requirements of a broad range of unmanned systems.

Fuel cell UAV market players are focused on the development of technologically advanced products to further strengthen their position in the global market. Companies offer new products to penetrate the market and are dedicated to expanding their presence in untapped markets. Moreover, the increased application areas among aerial imaging, surveillance, LiDAR, geospatial services, and other mapping services act as a driver for the increased demand for fixed wing drone segment. To serve market opportunities among various sectors, companies are collaborating with regional players to capture the increasing demands from a particular market.

Key Findings of The Study

  • By product type, the solid oxide fuel cell segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth in the future.
  • By end use, the others security segment is anticipated to dominate the market in the coming future.
  • By type, the rotary wing segment is anticipated to lead the market.
  • By weight, the more than 50 kg segment is anticipated to exhibit fastest growth from 2023–2032.
  • By application, the others segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth in the future.
  • By region, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Key players operating in the global fuel cell UAV market include with AeroVironment Inc., Ballard Power Systems, Boeing, Elbit Systems Ltd., EnergyOR, General Atomics, H3 Dynamics, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, Intelligent Energy Limited, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), ISS Aerospace, Jadoo Power Systems, Inc., MMC-UAV, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Textron Inc., Ultra, and ZeroAvia, Inc. These players are adopting strategies such as contracts, agreements, and acquisitions to improve their market positioning.

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quote Fuel Cell UAV Market by Product Type (Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell), by End Use (Passenger UAV, Cargo UAV, Others), by Type (Fixed Wing, Rotary Wing, Hybrid), by Weight (Less Than 50 Kg, More Than 50 Kg), by Application (Military and Defence, Civil and Commercial, Logistics and Transportation, Construction and Mining, Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032 quote

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