Toyota develops new catalyst for fuel cell vehiclesFebruary 24, 2017
Automaker has made a major breakthrough in fuel cell technology
Toyota has developed a new catalyst that could go a long way in making fuel cell vehicles more attractive, affordable, and efficient. The Japanese automaker has been investing heavily in hydrogen fuel cells in an effort to produce new, cleaner vehicles. Equipped with these fuel cells, the new vehicles produce no harmful emissions but perform on par with their conventional counterparts. The new catalyst designed by Toyota is meant to help address some of the challenges facing fuel cell vehicles currently.
New catalyst uses less platinum than other solutions
The new catalyst is much smaller than its predecessors, allowing Toyota to develop more compact fuel cell systems. According to Toyota, the new catalyst also uses 20% fewer precious materials, which will have a dramatic impact on its cost. Conventional fuel cells are notoriously expensive due to their use of platinum. The cost of these energy systems has an impact on the overall price of the vehicles that use them, which has made some fuel cell vehicles unattractive to consumers. By reducing the amount of platinum needed by a fuel cell, Toyota may be able to help resolve this issue.
Toyota plans to launch fuel cell vehicles equipped with the new catalyst
Toyota is already prepared to begin mass producing its new catalyst for future fuel cell systems. The first vehicle that will feature the new catalyst is expected to come from one of the company’s subsidiaries in the form of the Lexus LC 500h. This vehicle is expected to launch later this year. Toyota has expressed confidence in its new catalyst, believing that it will help demonstrate the capabilities of fuel cell vehicles and how quickly fuel cell technology is advancing.
Automakers are investing more in fuel cell technology
Fuel cell vehicles are not entirely new to the auto industry, but only recently have these vehicles begun to see commercial release from the world’s leading automakers. Toyota is only one of several major companies that are working to make improvements to fuel cell technology in order to produce cleaner vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.