Faculty Advisor

Datta, Ravindra

Faculty Advisor

Saeed, Khalid


This report addresses problems associated with possible U.S. fuel cell vehicle production and a limited platinum supply. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which use a platinum catalyst, could place strain on the platinum market if fuel cell vehicles are widely produced. We developed a dynamic hypothesis, identified causal relationships, and created a system dynamics model in iThink. Based on this model, we found platinum prices would likely reach $50,000 per kilogram in 30 years and the cost of platinum for a fuel cell vehicle would be $2,500. At this price, the platinum barrier is surmountable if the cost of other FCV components is drastically reduced. If a world FCV market takes hold, it was concluded that only about 15% global market penetration is feasible.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2009

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies