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Platinum wins at Paris 2024 as Toyota unveils hydrogen-based transportation plans during Summer Olympics

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(Kitco News) - The rapid growth of the hydrogen economy continues to provide solid support for platinum and 2024 could prove to be a big year for the alternative fuel and the precious metal.

Analysts at the World Platinum Investment Council said in a note Wednesday that platinum-based hydrogen technology will be the big winner at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Last month, Toyota, the worldwide mobility partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), unveiled its transportation plans for Paris 2024, which include using ten different hydrogen fuel-cell applications, demonstrating a hydrogen ecosystem and encouraging the further roll-out of refueling infrastructure.

"Toyota believes that hydrogen is a key pillar for the creation of a low-carbon and a more sustainable society," the company said in a press release published last month. "During the Paris 2024 Olympics, Toyota will showcase its vision of building a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem through a demonstration of hydrogen solutions that further push the boundaries of hydrogen-powered mobility."

The world's top-selling automaker said that its hydrogen applications will be used in about 500 vehicles during the games, a significant increase from what was used in Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

"Applications will range from buses and trucks to boats and forklifts – all demonstrating the potential of hydrogen-powered society," the press release said.

Toyota will also have a fleet of about 176 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which require PGMs in catalytic converters to reduce harmful greenhouse gasses.

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Analysts note there are two ways platinum benefits from the expanding hydrogen economy. The first is in hydrogen production, as platinum is an essential catalyst within electrolyzers that are used to separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water.

However, some analysts have said that the biggest growth potential for platinum is in the fuel-cell technology.  Platinum-intensive fuel cells are the only commercial option within the transportation sector and few alternatives are on the horizon.

In a report published in August, commodity analysts at Bank of America highlighted platinum's potential as the hydrogen economy is growing 3.5 times faster than initially forecasted.

The analysts said platinum demand from the hydrogen economy could consume 2.4 million ounces by 2030.

While there is plenty of growth potential for platinum, the market continues to see lackluster demand as prices remain stuck below $900 an ounce. January platinum futures last traded at 872.90 an ounce, down nearly 3% on the day.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.