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What was seen as a devastating blow by VW to the platinum market has suddenly become completely irrelevant to the metals future.
The price of platinum has risen 14% from its 7 year low of $893 at the beginning of October and all because Toyota is moving big style into hydrogen fuel cell cars, each of which needs an ounce of platinum as against a mere 2-4 grms for your average gasoline or diesel vehicle.
On the 16th October Toyota launched in Europe, home of the VW empire, its first first mass produced fuel cell car. Already the despair of only 2 or 3 weeks ago has disappeared and turned the market for platinum on its head.
Buy a fuel cell car in Japan and the Japanese government will give you $25,000, equal to 50% pf the cost of the car. Toyota is spending billions to try and reduce the amount of platinum needed by a fuel cell car but even if it reduces it by 50%, each car will still need 12-15 grms, double or triple the present amount per vehicle.
Because of VW’s ills,Toyota will quickly regain its crown as the worlds largest car maker in the very near future and Toyota sees its long term future in fuel cell powered vehicles.
The future for platinum lies not just in cars. By 2030 the Japanese government plans to install fuel cells into 10% of Japanese households, to replace grid electricity.
Other car manufacturers are bound to jump on the fuel cell bandwagon. Countries other than Japan are also bound to start using alternatives to “dirty” electricity.