A Blow for Platinum, Palladium price: Toyota’s new technology

Toyota sold quite ten million vehicles last year placing it in a very virtual tie with Volkswagen as the world’s number one auto maker.

Stricter pollution regulations round the world and intense competition mean that prime priority for traditional automotive companies is to cut prices and reduce emissions.

A new technology disclosed by Toyota on Wednesday is win for the Japanese company on each counts. Toyota declared the availability of a new, smaller catalyst that uses 200th less valuable in approximately 200th less volume, while maintaining the same exhaust gas purification performance.

There’s a simple reason – today’s fuel cell cars need a full ounce of platinum versus a 2–4 grams PGM loading for your average gasoline or diesel vehicle

Toyota’s “world’s 1st integrally-molded Flow Adjustable design Cell (FLAD)” isn’t the first time researchers have found innovative ways that to cut back pricey platinum group metals in exhaust systems. but those technologies seldom make it all the way to the assembly line.

What’s different about Toyota’s FLAD is that the corporate says it’s ready for production. the first vehicle to sport the the new catalytic converter, the luxury flagship Lexus LC 500h, will get it later this year. Volume models further down the ranks will gradually follow says Toyota.

Roughly 75th of palladium demand is from the autocatalyst sector whereas application of platinum is more equally unfold with jewelry and other industrial uses making up more than half the total. 85th of rhodium is used within the automobile sector, but it is a little market – about 30 tons made in good years.

Clearly it’ll take a long time for FLAD to figure its way through to PGM markets. If at all. Events in South African and Russia that together is responsible for 80th of the world’s PGM output generally have the biggest impact, not to mention the vexing issue of the real amount of above ground stocks.

Nevertheless, a 200th cut is substantial, and automakers have a long history of copying each others’ technology.

On Wednesday, the palladium price was trading down with Nymex contracts exchanging hands for $767 an ounce, down 1.5% on the day. Last week palladium hit a 21-month high simply shy of $800 and also the precious metal is trading 14.5% for the better so far in 2017.

Platinum has gained nearly 12-tone music year-to-date, exchanging hands for $1,002 an ounce on Wednesday after hitting its highest level since August earlier this month.

Roughly 75% of palladium demand is from the autocatalyst sector while application of platinum is more evenly spread

Rhodium has traded as high as $10,000 an ounce a decade ago, but could be picked up mid-2016 for less than $600 an ounce. it’s recovered since then, quoted at $825 recently.

Toyota taketh away, but giveth too
Toyota launched its 1st mass-produced fuel cell automotive – the Mirai or “future” in Japanese – for the european market in Volkswagen’s back yard in Oct 2015.

Toyota has the backing of Tokyo for its push into hydrogen. In Japan the government can give you $25,000 – nearly half the whole cost – if you purchase a fuel cell vehicle. The country also has a program to put in hydrogen fuel cells into 100 percent or 5.3m Japanese households to switch grid electricity by 2030.

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