Approaches to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and their cost

Nayibe Guerrero Moreno, Myriam Cisneros Molina, Dominic Gervasio, Juan Francisco Pérez Robles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Cost analyses developed for fuel cells are reviewed, focusing mainly on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology, because the solid polymer membrane electrolyte is robust and operates under conditions needed for most pressing applications, especially for the automotive application. Presently, PEMFC cost is still too high for large scale commercialization. The cost of electrodes and membranes contributes substantially to the total PEMFC cost which is driving research to reduce the costs of these components so the PEMFC can be introduced into large scale power markets. A scenario analysis for PEMFC costs for an automotive application illustrates that reducing the MEA cost up to 27% makes achievable the $40/kW cost target by 2020, which corresponds to a reduction in the cost of the catalyst by $3.55/kW and the membrane by $0.8/kW. The ultimate cost target for the PEMFC of 30/kW is obtained when the MEA cost is reduced by 45%, which corresponds to a projected cost reduction for catalyst cost by $6.41/kW and membrane by $1.44/kW. If these costs are met, the PEMFC would reach a price which is cost competitive to Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles which would allow the use of PEMFCs for power generation in a significant number of sectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-906
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Aug 22 2015


  • Bottom up
  • Cost analysis
  • DFMA
  • Fuel cell
  • MEA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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