Hydrogen aircraft rely on hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity that powers aircraft turbines and electric motors replacing jet fuel. Hydrogen fuel cells produce only heat and water and have zero operational carbon emissions making them a sustainable alternative for air travel. As concerns around high carbon footprint of air travel intensifies, hydrogen emerges as the most viable zero-emission fuel for aviation. Major aircraft manufacturers are investing heavily in developing hydrogen-powered aircraft with the aim to enter service in early 2030s. Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce have pledged large sums towards developing hydrogen-fueled passenger aircraft over the next decade which marks a paradigm shift in sustainable aviation fuel adoption. As newer fuel cell and electric motor technologies necessary for hydrogen aircraft mature, we expect prototype aircraft to start test flights in the late 2020s.
The global Hydrogen Aircraft market is estimated to be valued at US$ 7.76 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.0% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.
Market key Trends:
Currently, sustainable aviation fuel production lags far behind the growing demand from airlines determined to reduce carbon footprint of flights. Hydrogen has emerged as one of the most viable carbon neutral and scalable options for powering commercial aircraft over long distances. Major aircraft manufacturers like Airbus have publicly stated their goal to bring hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft into service by 2035. This has accelerated investment in hydrogen storage, fuel cell and cryogenic technologies required for aviation applications over the past few years. Several airframe and engine prototypes evaluating hydrogen fuel cells and liquefied hydrogen storage are under development. If successful, these demonstration programs will prove hydrogen’s viability for powering small regional as well as medium range aircraft by early 2030s. Wider adoption of hydrogen aircraft thereafter will depend on aviation regulators certifying the new technologies and availability of green hydrogen in large commercial quantities.
Threat of new entrants: The threat of new entrants in the hydrogen aircraft market is moderate. Establishing a new aircraft manufacturing company requires a large amount of capital investment and time for research and development. Strict safety regulations from aviation authorities also pose a barrier to new entrants.
Bargaining power of buyers: The bargaining power of buyers in the hydrogen aircraft market is high. Large aircraft manufacturers hold substantial bargaining power over raw material and component suppliers as they source from a global supply chain. Buyers can negotiate on price and demand better quality and delivery terms.
Bargaining power of suppliers:
The bargaining power of suppliers is moderate. Key suppliers of raw materials and components such as hydrogen tanks and fuel cells have some control over pricing due to their specialized expertise and technology. However, established suppliers face competition from new entrants.
Threat of new substitutes: The threat of new substitutes is low. Hydrogen has advantages over traditional fossil fuels in terms of zero emissions. While electric aircraft are emerging, hydrogen has a higher energy density providing longer flight ranges. No direct substitution is expected in the near future.
Competitive rivalry: Competitive rivalry is high among leading aircraft manufacturers. Companies compete based on technological innovations, new product developments, pricing and reliability of aircraft. Manufacturers pursue strategic collaborations and partnership to gain early mover advantages.
The global Hydrogen Aircraft Market Share is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period. The global Hydrogen Aircraft market is estimated to be valued at US$ 7.76 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.0% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031.
North America is projected to dominate the hydrogen aircraft market during the forecast period. This is attributed to the presence of leading aircraft OEMs and technology companies along with supportive government policies promoting decarbonization of aviation industry in the region. For instance, ZeroAvia, a US-based startup is developing hydrogen-electric powertrains and aim to start commercial flights by 2024.
Key players operating in the hydrogen aircraft market are Arkema Group, Asahi Kasei Corporation, BASF SE, Celanese Corporation, Covestro, DSM N.V., Dupont, Lanxess, LG Chem., Mitsubishi Engineering-Plastics Corporation, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), Solvay SA, Teijin, Toray, and Victrex Plc. Companies are investing in R&D to develop advanced materials and technologies to enable hydrogen-based aircraft propulsion systems. For example, Airbus has partnership with turboprop engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce to explore hydrogen-electric propulsion concepts.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it