Swan, David H., O. A. Velev, I. J. Kakwan, A. C. Ferreira, S. S. Srinivasan, A. J. Appleby (1991) The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell – A Strong Candidate As A Power Source for Electric Vehicles. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-91-32
Electric vehicles will play a significant role in solving energy and environmental problems. The new clean air laws in California mandate the sale of zero emission vehicles by 1998, (2% of total vehicle sales increasing to 10% by the year 2005). The only vehicle power systems that can meet the zero emission requirement are battery or fuel cell power systems with on-board hydrogen. Initial sales requirements will be met by battery powered vehicles for use in an urban setting (range of less than 150 miles/day). Long range general purpose vehicles will require fuel cells. Of all fuel cell types, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system is presently the strongest candidate. The PEMFC uses platinum as a catalyst and at present electrode loading levels will require substantially more per vehicle than is presently used in catalytic converters. This paper highlights the progress made in air breathing, low platinum loading PEMFCs at the Center for Electrochemical Systems and Hydrogen Research (CESHR). The effects of platinum loading, and operating pressure are described and an analysis of air compression energy and its net effect on fuel cell performance is presented.