GM next generation and current fuel cell stacks – Click above for high-res image gallery

Engineers at General Motors' fuel-cell development center in Mainz-Kastel, Germany believe that the future of hydrogen-powered vehicles lies partly in their hands. You see, these engineers feel that the costs of fuel cells can be slashed by 75 percent by 2015, which, in turn, could lead to mass production and adoption of vehicles motivated by hydrogen.

Engineers at the Mainz-Kastel facility are actively involved in research to reduce the amount of platinum catalyst used in a fuel cell to less than two grams. By reducing the amount of pricey platinum, costs would drop substantially. However, reaching the goal of two grams is expected to take at least 15 years.

Before that, in five year's time, GM aims to produce several thousand fuel cell vehicles and one of the main goals for launching that batch of hydrogen-powered autos will be to understand how mass production effects the overall costs per vehicle. If there's one recurring theme that we continue to see with fuel cell development, it's the need to extensively reduce the cost of the powertrain. Hat tip to Roy!

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / AOL

[Source: The Engineer]

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