In 2018, the country rolled-out the world’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains when two Coradia iLint trains, built by the French company Alstom, started running on a 100km route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern German. Today, Germany has more hydrogen refuelling stations than any other European country, with 84 in active use and a further 21 under construction, rising to a total of 400 by 2025. This compares to the current 38 active stations in the rest of Europe combined.
German industry is also getting behind the government’s plans, with research showing that Germany has submitted more patents for the fuel cell sector than any other country in Europe, with 17,238 registrations. Major German corporations including Bosch and Daimler are involved in significant fuel-cell related projects. Bosch has teamed up with Powercell Sweden AB to bring fuel cells to the market by 2022 at the latest. In fact, Bosch estimates that 20 per cent of all electric vehicles worldwide will have a fuel cell powertrain by 2030. Daimler is focusing its efforts on fuel-cell systems for heavy duty vehicles like trucks and buses.
Platinum in FCEVs is currently a small, but growing, demand sector for platinum, with near-term demand growth coming predominantly from the heavy duty sector, with the potential for significant demand once fuel cell passenger cars move beyond one per cent of annual vehicle sales.