Twitter’s fuel cell community was thrilled to see a Reuter’s feature article on the rapidly declining need for platinum in fuel cells electric vehicles.

Fuel cell critics have focused on platinum costs for years around the assumption that the precious metal’s cost could be a potential show-stopper. (Ironically, more platinum is used in a Tesla battery EV than a fuel cell EV)

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The Reuters story featured Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the European Commission’s FCJU (Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) which leads a broad range of projects from vehicle electrification to micro CHP.

In the interview Biebuyck notes a 70% reduction of platinum needed in fuel cell stacks from first to third generation versions.  A decade ago, leading edge fuel cell stacks required 100 grams of platinum which added thousands of dollars of additional costs.

In 2017, Daimler’s Fuel cell Program Director Professor Dr Christian Mohrdieck said the company had reduced platinum loading needs by 90% down to levels equivalent in existing catalytic converters that use around 6 grams.  Industry reports suggest the Toyota Mirai’s fuel cell stack uses 14 grams of platinum – nearly a tenth of the amount required a decade ago.

Fuel cell leaders such as Toyota and Daimler expect that within a few years there will only be a few grams of platinum catalysts needed to bring the same level of performance to the modern day fuel cell stack.

Source: UK Reuters

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