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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: A Platinum and Other Raw Material Perspective Based on Vehicle Design and Technology Data
- Jordi Mas-Peiro ,
- Michael Neidhardt ,
- Benedikt Schmuelling ,
- Josep O. Pou - Universitat Ramon Llull, Chemical Engineering and Material Science Department, IQS School of Engineering, Spain ,
- Rafael Gonzalez-Olmos - Universitat Ramon Llull, Chemical Engineering and Material Science Department, IQS School of Engineering, Spain
ISSN: 2640-642X, e-ISSN: 2640-6438
Published September 27, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Mas-Peiro, J., Neidhardt, M., Schmuelling, B., Pou, J. et al., "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: A Platinum and Other Raw Material Perspective Based on Vehicle Design and Technology Data," SAE J. STEEP 3(1):2022, https://doi.org/10.4271/13-03-01-0002.
Transportation remains one of the main causes of world greenhouse gas emissions, which is why the automotive sector is investing heavily in electric vehicles. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are a promising and valid technology to achieve long-term emission-free mobility. The potential impact of FCEV introduction on several raw material markets, mainly platinum has not been investigated in detail using currently available data.
A scenario-based analysis was conducted, based on both potential future technologies and FCEV design options, in order to determine the risks that would come up in the case of large-scale FCEV implementation in passenger vehicles. Four scenarios of widespread FCEV implementation are developed, in which vehicle design, fuel cell technology, and battery chemistry are taken into account, resulting in four future raw material demand scenarios for platinum (Pt), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), and lithium (Li).
The results show that the current Pt supply is not sufficient to fulfill the projected demands, and it would become temporarily critical during FCEV ramp-up regardless of what design and technology are being implemented. Closed-loop approaches and recycling are considered necessary to mitigate supply deficits. However, considering the worldwide Pt reserves, this should not be considered a long-term risk. The effect of FCEV implementation on battery raw material markets appears to be minor; depending on the battery technology being used, FCEV demand would cause a significant surge in battery raw material demand in some scenarios.