Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) supports manufacturing research and development (R&D) activities to improve processes and reduce the cost of components and systems for hydrogen production, delivery, and storage over the range of fuel cell application areas, including stationary, portable, and transportation.
Why Study Manufacturing?
Increasing production of today's hydrogen and fuel cell components and systems from laboratory-scale fabrication technologies to high-volume commercially available products can have significant challenges. FCTO addresses the challenge of moving today’s technologies from the laboratory to high-volume, pre-commercial manufacturing and works to drive down the cost of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.
Focusing on the early stages of commercialization, research investments are made to reduce the cost of components currently used or planned for use, as well as overall processing times. Progress toward targets is measured in terms of reducing the cost to produce fuel cells, increasing manufacturing processing rates, and growing manufacturing capacity.
Research and Development Goals
FCTO funds R&D projects to enable development of manufacturing technologies and processes of hydrogen and fuel cell components in parallel with technology development while fostering a strong domestic supplier base. The specific manufacturing R&D goals are to:
- Develop manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost of automotive fuel cell stacks at high volume (500,000 units per year) from the 2008 value of $38/kW to $20/kW by 2020.
- Develop fabrication and assembly processes to produce compressed hydrogen pressure vessels to enable a total onboard storage system cost of $10/kWh for widespread commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across most light-duty platforms by 2020, with an ultimate target of $8/kWh.
- Support efforts to reduce the cost of manufacturing components and systems to produce and deliver hydrogen at <$4/gge (2007 dollars) (untaxed, delivered, and dispensed) by 2020.
Additional information about current manufacturing R&D activities can be found in the Manufacturing R&D section of the FCTO's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan and through other related links.