Fuel Cell, Fool Sell?

NO! Platinum is the key catalyst in the oncoming fuel cell market, and if anything, the market's perspective and understanding I think fails to assess the true potential platinum demand. 

First, let's create our lexicon:

FCEV - Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle 

MEA - Membrane Electrode Assembly

BEV - Battery Electric Vehicle

I have written before about what I believe is the market's myopia about BEVs without thinking much about FCEVs. The BEV market has the challenge of range, and charging time, whereas FCEVs, which convert hydrogen to energy, with membranes that have a platinum coating, have not only much longer range, but recharging at hydrogen fueling stations - of course infrastructure that will need to be built -  will be quicker than filling up a tank with gas.   

Creamer Media published an excellent piece on July 31, 2019, indicating that by 2030 China will have one million FCEVs, Japan 800,000, and California "probably the same amount," not taking into account Europe and the rest of the world. Creamer writes that the estimated demand for MEAs will be 500 million by 2030, and that with 370 or so MEAs in one FCEV, incremental platinum demand will be another 500,000 ounces.

My view? With China and Japan's committed focus to the hydrogen economy, and with what I expect to be an acceleration of both the BEV and FCEV market beyond what is currently anticipated, demand will be far greater. Admittedly, my comments are simply shooting from the hip, but it is based on the experience that innovations take on a surprising life, on "life speed" that is often unexpected. 

Fuel cell demand is naturally only one piece of the platinum marketplace... but it is interesting to me since no one really seems to be addressing how a significant percentage of cars and trucks and busses are  "long haul" where BEVs are far less relevant.                                                         














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