General Motors have developed new hydrogen fuel cell technology that allows not only smaller sized units to be made, but significant weight savings, increased efficiency and, best of all, cheaper production costs.
Pictured above left is the new, fifth-generation 93kW fuel cell stack next to the existing fourth-generation unit from the hydrogen-powered, also 93kW, GM Equinox (pictured below).
But the biggest improvement is lower production costs with GM engineers having reduced the amount of expensive platinum used by more than 50 per cent from about 80 grams to 30.
GM’s aim is to reduce the use of this precious metal even further by the time the sixth-generation unit is produced a goal of around 10 grams expected.
Economies of scale will no doubt help drive the cost per fuel cell stack down as well with production expected to achieve 10,000 units by 2015.
Life expectency of the fifth-generation unit is estimated to be around 190,000 kilometres.
The development could help pave the way for hydrogen technology to become more widely accepted.
CarAdvice will keep you posted on any developments.