1 March 2021: In 2021, 400 koz more platinum could replace palladium in addition to the 150 koz of expected ‘substitution’: Public discussion by automakers and catalyst fabricators to date has focussed on replacing palladium with platinum in catalysts of vehicles already on sale, with fabricators expecting such substitution to be c.150 koz in 2021 increasing to c.1.5 moz annually by 2025. However, this narrow definition of substitution does not cover metal replacement in models in development, prior to launch. In European and Chinese auto markets, all car models to be sold in 2021 had their emissions systems redeveloped over the preceding three years to comply with Euro 6d and China 6a regulations. This meant platinum could be used in place of palladium with almost no additional engineering, testing or certification costs and with no public disclosure. Indeed, if only 30% of palladium was replaced by platinum in 20-30% of the c.32 million gasoline light vehicles expected to be produced in China and Europe this year, such pre-launch metal replacement could be between 285 koz and 428 koz of additional platinum autocatalyst demand in 2021.
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