Big platinum group metals pull in return for small fuel cell car market push

If fuel cell electric vehicles can capture 10% of the global car market, demand will be created for five-million to six-million ounces of incremental platinum group metals (PGMs) a year, this week’s Hydrogen Economy Discussion event was told.

Moreover, ten times more PGMs value is to be had from fuel cell electric vehicles than from PGMs-based electrolysers that generate green hydrogen.

Although PGMs-based proton electron membrane (PEM) electrolysers are key for some PGMs demand, the major demand potential is from mobility in a vehicle sector also boosted by ten-year turnaround cycles.

Globally, 80 000 fuel cell electric vehicles are currently on the road, up 30% on last year, and more than 1 000 hydrogen refuelling stations were established, up 50% on 2022.

This year, vehicle manufacturers will assemble 130-plus fuel cell electric vehicle models.

Mining Weekly believes, however, that it is in the interests of the South African economy as the world’s largest producer of PGMs that information be provided more regularly on the initiatives under way to help develop the fuel cell electrical passenger vehicle market in Europe, China and the US.

Good news, meanwhile, is that the H2 Moves Berlin project being carried out by Toyota, Anglo American and taxi company SafeDriver is promoting the use of fuel cell technology in commercial fleets of up to 200 Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicles, while also stimulating the demand for a network of hydrogen refuelling stations.