VW cuts cost of fuel cells
Volkswagen and Stanford University have announced the development of an engineering solution to the high cost of fuel cells.
The use of expensive platinum within fuel cells has held back the mass manufacture of the zero emission vehicle technology, which in automotive terms offers a viable alternative to battery-powered electric cars. Fuel cells are powered by hydrogen and emit only water.
The new process developed by VW and Stanford dramatically reduces the amount of platinum required as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell. It also achieves a 300% improvement in the efficiency of the catalyst.
Prof. Prinz, of Stanford University, said, “This technology opens up enormous possibilities for cost reduction, as the amount of precious metal used is minimised. At the same time, service life and catalyst performance are increased.