For the past 20 years there have been attempts to fuel cell vehicles. Daimler was one of the pioneers of the technology through a partnership with the fuel cell pioneer Ballard Power. But so far remained all approaches to a car with this technique stuck or have only been tested in small company fleets in the experimental stage. Now Toyota reclaimed the lead in the new clean technology. How many years ago the first standard hybrid car Prius. He is now a familiar sight on our roads has contributed to the breakthrough of this technology. Toyota will create once again the first breakthrough? How does the distribution will affect the platinum market? Getting answers to these questions have a look today.
Toyota starts again on pole position in a fuel cell car offered in series. How many years ago in hybrid technology with the Prius, Toyota will from the competition for that – ridiculed step – expensive. Now is the Mirai, translated future in Japan and the United States at the start. At first, only a few copies, but in 2015 the production is ramped up, the end of 2015 the car should be also in Germany. The numbers should remain manageable for the year 2015 with 700 initially, 50-100 Mirai intended for Europe. The production is slowly ramped up, if they are running success.
Will the fuel cell technology as long as the need for hybrid market penetration?
The Toyota plans initially to hear as the first series hybrid Prius. 10 years it took until the first million vehicles were sold. Meanwhile, Toyota Prius produces 1 million per year. The technology has arrived in the mass market. Especially for the big gas guzzlers an additional hybrid drive itself is becoming more widespread in order to reduce the fleet consumption. Especially the German premium manufacturers are catching up in this segment. No wonder: Just when driving with the huge SUVs so popular in the inner cities of the hybrid shows its strength – and soothes the otherwise – if any still existing in the male and female drivers – strongly strained ecological conscience at least a little.
Especially in California the Mirai will quickly start
The data of the Mirai are already beeindurckend, if we compare it with the most electric cars: 500 km range, fully fueled in 5 minutes, 154 hp. The price: 78 540 EUR in Germany, but only 36,000 EUR in California, if we consider the state support. So that is the target market for Toyota, because there is true the infrastructure already. Compared to Germany with its 12 hydrogen fueling stations in California the network will be expanded by 2015 to 100. In addition, the clean fuel is free and hydrogen-powered cars may use the privileged lanes that promise faster progress in the congestion of urban areas.
As the demand for raw materials for the new technology will have an impact?
Of course, we want you here provide the driving Dutzendsten report on this new release, which you can read in all relevant gazettes. But with us it is of course a matter of whether can be derived interesting investment opportunities for you. What makes the fuel cell technology for us commodity investor interest is mainly the consumption of platinum needed for fuel cells. Currently, the vehicles are extremely expensive, because only about one ounce of platinum needed for fuel cell (compared to 6 grams for a catalyst), which also is technically overall very expensive. Platinum is also necessary for the production of hydrogen. In addition, a lot of energy, which should preferably come from alternative sources. But:
The platinum market is too large to quickly benefit from the initially small additional demand
In comparison to the world market for platinum is – so far – only a tiny fraction. According to the latest extrapolation of the leading platinum processor Johnson Matthey should be 2014 to 5.1 million ounces of platinum production. Above all, South Africa is responsible for the decline, where only 3.46 million ounces will be produced by the strikes, a 18-year low. The increasing supply from recycling can not compensate for this decline. 8,520,000 ounces to the demand in 2014 amounted despite declining demand from the investment community. Result: a supply deficit by the end of 2014 having 1.13 million ounces. The biggest customer: the automotive industry with projected 3.39 million ounces, a 6-year high.
But the deficit of the platinum market already now creates interesting investment opportunities
This was needed huge amount of platinum in particular for the catalysts of vehicles for which despite partial replacement by a more favorable palladium, platinum is much still needed, particularly for diesel vehicles. The need is here continue to rise as more and more countries and more and more vehicles cat is on exhaust ventilation required. This will eventually lead to a cycle when the platinum from spent catalysts recycled and reused for new ones. But so far, the new demand is still much higher than the recycling of the spent so far few Kats. Thus, a structural deficit of platinum we have in total by the automotive industry. However, this is so high that the initially few fuel cell vehicles will result in any significant changes. When larger quantities are reached, but their importance is growing. And we see more coming from the direction of commercial vehicles, where prevail just for the stationnären operating the fuel cell rapidly, especially since they produce no emissions.
Conclusion: On the next recommendations to the board you will not have to wait long
It is still too early to determine by the first production car from Toyota a rising platinum demand. Since the play already mass-produced stationary vehicles, such as forklifts or municipal buses, even a much bigger role. However, in comparison to the entire vehicle industry, which requires platinum for the catalysts increasingly the demand for the fuel cells is still negligible. If the art, however, more widely accepted and especially the infrastructure is built, it may come in the future to ensure that the demand will account for a larger share.
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Your Daniela Knauer
Note: Daniela Knauer and Miriam Kraus form the editor’s team at raw signals, the comprehensive exchange service covering all tradable commodity markets with all investment opportunities for above-average profits derivatives and equities, as well as the best safeguard by tangible assets
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