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Polymer Fuel Cells – Cost reduction and market potential

How UK breakthroughs in polymer fuel cells could make fuel cell cars cost competitive with combustion engine cars.

Publication date: September 2012

 

This report outlines how innovative UK companies are at the forefront of achieving breakthroughs in polymer fuel cells which could address cost, the main barrier to the wide scale deployment of polymer fuel cells. The report states that a continued focus on technology innovation could make fuel cell cars cost competitive with internal combustion engine cars and lead to them forming a third of all vehicles on the road by 2050.

According to independent analysis commissioned by the Carbon Trust, current state-of-the-art polymer fuel cell technology is predicted to cost $49/kW in automotive applications when manufactured at mass scale (i.e. 500,000 units per year).

However, in order to be competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles, automotive fuel cells must reach a cost of approximately $36/kW. Cost savings can be achieved by reducing material costs (notably platinum use), increasing power density, reducing system complexity and improving durability.

This report presents the results of independent analysis commissioned by the Carbon Trust. This analysis indicates that each of the three system-level technologies has the potential to meet the $36/kW cost target, and shows that fuel cells with this level of cost performance could increase the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) by 200m by 2050.

Download the report

Polymer Fuel Cells – Cost reduction and market potential (PDF)

See more on the Carbon Trust's Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge.

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