ACAL Energy Ltd, a British chemical engineering company developing fuel cell systems, announced that its FlowCath technology, a proprietary designed liquid catalyst, enabled a proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cell to reach 10,000 hours of runtime on a third party automotive industry durability test. According to ACAL Energy, the FlowCath technology improves a PEM fuel cell's durability, reduces its weight, decreases degredation due to its coolant properties, and is cheaper than the conventional platinum catalyst.
Ten thousand hours is the equivalent of driving 300,000 miles (500,000 km) and makes hydrogen fuel cell endurance comparable to the best light-weight diesel engines under similar test conditions, according to ACAL Energy. This endurance exceeds the current 2017 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) industry target for fuel cell powered vehicles to last 5,000 hours, or 150,000 road miles (250,000 km), with degradation of approximately 10 percent.
ACAL Energy's technology enables a compact fuel cell drivetrain with a power output of 100kW. Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Daimler, Ford, and Nissan have all announced plans to launch production fuel cell vehicles between 2015 and 2018.