GM expects the cost of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to be on a par with hybrids by 2025
22 October 2010

Fuel-cell cars will cost the same as the equivalent hybrid or range-extender by 2025, according to GM expert George Hansen.

Speaking to Autocar, Hansen predicted that huge cost reductions brought about by advances in materials and the volumes being produced will significantly drop the manufacturing cost of hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

Read Autocar's first drive of the Chevrolet Volt

By 2025 infrastructure will have improved to the point where hydrogen filling stations will be commonplace too, especially in hydrogen-advanced regions such as Germany, Korea, Japan and California.

Key to the fuel-cell cost reductions is the amount of ultra-expensive platinum used in the powertrain. Current fuel-cell cars such as GM’s Equinox SUV use around 80g of the precious metal, whereas Hansen is predicting that by 2025 it will be reduced to around 2g - a similar amount to that currently used in a catalytic convertor.

Read more on GM's expansion in China

GM plans to put a fuel-cell car on general sale before then, though, in 2015. This so-called second-generation system will be both half the weight and size of the one being used in the Equinox. As such it can be made far more cheaply and be used to power a smaller car, possibly a small Chevy Volt-sized saloon. This system will also use just 30g of platinum.

GM engineers claim to have tested fuel-cell cars more than any other manufacturer. Engineers have now completed over two million kilometres in testing, using 100 different cars, mainly the Equinox (pictured). Prospective customers have also had them on test for three-month stints in order to give feedback.

Chas Hallett

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Suzuki Swift Sport 2018 long-term review hero front
    First Drive
    16 July 2018
    The Japanese hot hatch is all grown up in terms of character, technology and price, but is it still a fun-loving kid at heart? Let’s find out
  • Tesla Model S 75D 2018 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    16 July 2018
    New starting point for revised Model S line-up is still the electric saloon to beat
  • Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer longterm review on the road
    First Drive
    16 July 2018
    How suited is this estate to the demands of the business traveller? We aim to find out
  • Ford Fiesta ST Performance Pack 2018 UK first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    16 July 2018
    Latest Fiesta to wear red ST badge is more refined than predecessor and more satisfying to drive over a range of speeds than any of its rivals
  • Hyundai Nexo 2019 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    13 July 2018
    Designed from the outset to use a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, this front-driven crossover provides a taste of the future today