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

  • Hyundai Nexo FCEV
    This is the new Hyundai Nexo FCEV
    First Drive
    20 February 2018
    The new Nexo SUV is a showcase for both hydrogen power and autonomous tech. Does that make it an appealing purchase?
  • Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    This is the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The Insignia GSi is Vauxhall's new performance flagship. Can this diesel estate version offer both pace and practicality?
  • Honda Civic Type R
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    It’s a warm welcome to this steaming hot hatch. But is it too fiery for Britain’s roads?
  • Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    The DB11 Volante chassis' torsional rigidity is 22kN/deg, down from 34kN/deg on the coupe – but substantially more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The DB11 Volante is the first convertible variant of Aston Martin's new model generation. How does it compare to the likes of the new Ferrari Portofino?
  • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front
    The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The top-of-the-line 6 Series Gran Turismo has arrived in the UK, but does a more potent engine increase its unusual appeal?