The biggest challenge to making cars powered by fuel cells widely available is the cost of precious metals like platinum used in the cells. But now, according to Energy and Environment News, researchers are working to reduce the amount of platinum needed, which currently equals 40 grams at a cost of $4,000 alone. By creating a platinum alloy blended with nickel and forming 3-D shapes at the nanometer level, the scientists are able to increase the surface area dramatically, and use only 10% of the platinum needed for conventional designs. With another team looking at ways to move electrons without using any metal at all, and using carbon materials that are more stable than platinum and more resistant to contamination, this could put a positive charge in the future of fuel-cell cars.
August 1, 2013 by David Rothbard,
David Rothbard is co-founder and President of CFACT.