A design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA™) analysis is applied to future bus and automotive fuel cell vehicle (FCV) system designs. This DFMA™ analysis is used to identify (1) optimal fuel cell system (FCS) operating parameters for system cost minimization, (2) FCV designs appropriate for volume manufacture, (3) FCV manufacturing supply chain designs, (4) projected future capital costs of FCVs at varying manufacturing rates, and (5) primary cost drivers. This DFMA™ analysis focuses on the FCS drive train. It excludes fuel storage, the electric drive drain, and all other parts of the vehicle (chassis, exterior, etc.). These FCSs are envisioned to use low temperature proton exchange membrane (LT PEM) stacks to convert hydrogen fuel into electric power. Models are developed to minimize LT PEM fuel cell system costs by finding the cost optimal combination of (1) stack operating pressure, (2) cell voltage, (3) platinum (Pt) catalyst loading, (4) stoichiometric ratio of oxygen, and (5) coolant stack exit temperature. A multi-variable Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis indicates, with 90% confidence, that a FCS producing peak net 160 kilowatt-electric (kWe) for a bus application and produced at a rate of 1,000 FCS/year (yr) is expected to cost between $251/kWe and $334/kWe. Similarly, a peak net 80 kWe automotive FCS manufactured at a rate of 500,000 FCSs/year is estimated to cost between $51/kWe and $65/kWe, with 90% confidence. Total FCS costs are the sum of PEM stack and balance of plant (BOP) costs. The BOP components represent 32% of the bus FCS costs and 48% of the automotive system cost.

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