• Question: Does the hydrogen fuel car require a electric motor which are produced using copper? if so ,how would you be able to manufacture these in mass quantities due to the limited amount of copper?

    Asked by umut to Suze on 14 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 14 Jun 2011:


      I honestly have no idea! I leave motors to engineers, as they seem to know what they’re doing. I have the same attitude to my car! Copper has become very rare and really expensive. It’s becoming a bit of a nightmare actually, as some people keep stealing cables from railway line signals. The wires in the cables are made of copper, which they sell on as scrap metal to make money – which usually means that I get stuck in London for longer than I want to be there on my way home! It never seems to happen on the way in to work 😛

      I don’t think that a hydrogen fuel cell would only need copper, as hopefully there would be other metals that could be used. I guess if there was a real shortage of copper because of the specific properties that it has, it would me more materials chemistry to the rescue so that we can find or develop an alternative material that would have all the properties that we would need it to have.

      I’ve got a couple of engineering friends, so I’ll see whether I can find out from them! Great question though. Maybe it’s something that you could work on when you leave school!