Global automotive supplier Bosch expects platinum to play only a minor role in its new fuel cells, giving precious metal markets scant benefit even as the technology gains momentum for pollution-free transport.
Bosch would only need a tenth of the platinum used in current fuel cell vehicles, Reuters reads. Hopes of reviving demand and prices of platinum increasingly hinges on widespread uptake of fuel cells in vehicles, ships and trains to make up for dwindling amounts used in each device, analysts say.
The spot price of platinum has shed more than 40 percent in the last five years, burdened by persistent oversupply, before rebounding slightly in recent months.
Privately-owned Bosch, which last month signed a deal with Powercell Sweden AB to mass produce fuel cells, said its fuel cell design was not finalised, but it expects them to use only as much platinum as a diesel catalytic converter. A catalytic converter in a diesel passenger vehicle typically uses three to seven grams of platinum compared with around 30-60 grams currently needed for a fuel cell for the same vehicle, according to analysts.