The next generation of ultra low emission free vehicles, powered by fuel cell technology, can be driven hundreds of miles without re-charging or re-fuelling and with manufacturers committed to launch vehicles by 2015, the most efficient and practical alternatives to combustion engine vehicles are just around the corner. These early vehicles will however be expensive. At the planned volumes for initial launches, car companies are likely to be selling at a financial loss, in order to catalyse the market. A significant factor in this loss is down to lack of volume production and economies of scale.
However there are also inherent costs in fuel cell technology related to the way that they operate, and their materials of construction. By the time mass production cost reductions will be reached, more than 50% of cost will be due to expensive, scarce materials, like platinum catalysts. ACAL Energy’s FlowCath® technology eliminates most of the platinum in the fuel cell, replacing it with a low cost, less scarce, liquid catalyst that dramatically reduces cost. At the same time the system is inherently more durable and robust, reducing system complexity and the engineering costs required to ensure that the FCEV will continue to perform properly throughout its life. The company is working with automotive experts to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the technology for the next generation of fuel cell vehicles.
Deploying FlowCath® technology in FCEVs of the future won’t cost the earth.