NREL and GM team to make hydrogen fuel cells less expensive

July 1, 2014 0 By Stephen Vagus

Hydrogen Fuel Partnership

High cost of fuel cells will be the focus of partnership between NREL and GM

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has partnered with General Motors in order to address the issue of the high cost of fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells have become quite popular in the auto industry, being used as an energy system for a new generation of zero emission vehicles. The problem, however, is that fuel cells are quite expensive. These energy systems make use of platinum, which comprises their catalysts and allows them to produce electrical power.

Fuel cells are notoriously expensive

General Motors is one of the prominent automakers that has a vested interest in hydrogen fuel cells. The company has been developing its own fuel cells recently and intends to use these energy systems in future vehicles. General Motors is currently involved in a partnership with other automakers focused on reducing the cost of fuel cell vehicles. Because fuel cells are expensive in nature, the vehicles that use them are also expensive. The high cost of these vehicles could discourage their sale among consumers.

Partnership to produce better fuel cells for the future of clean transportation

NREL has played a major role in fuel cell research and development, as directed by the Department of Energy. The organization will work with General Motors in order to usher in a new generation of fuel cell vehicles through the development of fuel cells with higher energy densities. These fuel cells will also be more efficient and boast of higher performance than their predecessors. This will not be an easy feat to accomplish, of course, and it may be years before NREL and General Motors produce any viable results.

Clean transportation gains momentum as a way to fight emissions

NREL and General Motors have actually been working together in the clean transportation space since 1993. Both organizations have a strong interest in clean vehicles and have been funding the research and development of new vehicles that are more fuel efficient and less of a burden on the environment. Recent efforts made to promote clean transportation in the U.S. have to do with reducing the country’s production of emissions.