2021 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Hybrid Car
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One Reason Catalytic Converter Theft Continues To Climb

We all know catalytic converter theft is out of control, but what is the "catalyst" behind mass theft? I have a solid theory on why converters are still being stolen at alarming rates.

Catalytic converters are being stolen at increasingly high rates. A factor in the theft of converters is that precious metals inside have a high value. Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium all have high scrap value right now. My question is, why?

Why suddenly have we seen the massive spike and the need for these metals in the past couple of years? I have one theory that I believe is contributing to part of the theft.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Production - Dirty Money For Clean Air?
One of the components that are required to make a hydrogen fuel cell is platinum. Platinum is one of the three precious metals found in catalytic converters on gasoline vehicles.

Toyota Fuel Cell Stack

The push to bring more HFC to market, especially in the semi-truck portion of the transportation industry, is heating up rapidly. Hyzon Motors recently announced that it is shipping HFC semi-trucks to customers and will be testing soon in the United States.

I am not saying that Hyzon Motors is a dirty company, but Hyzon, Toyota, GM, and others leveraging HFC technology should be under scrutiny. Especially if these companies are pushing to help bring HFC technology to the masses.

My theory is that if all these companies combined are going to make more fuel cell stacks for the HFC vehicles. Where is all the platinum coming from? My thought is that the demand for platinum for fuel cells is part of the reason we see the spike in catalytic converter theft.

2021 Hyzon Motors Fuel Cell Semi-Truck

Conspiracy or not, I think this is a valid theory of why we could be seeing a massive increase in catalytic converter theft. I am all about recycling properly and utilizing materials again but doing it in a way that does not damage the consumer's pocketbook.

HFC technology is fantastic, and I hope to see a rise in infrastructure to help facilitate the growth. We need to ask questions like these to understand that not all new technology is necessarily good entirely.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that companies are buying up more platinum to produce hydrogen fuel cell stacks? Is this for the betterment of society or an underlying plague on consumers?

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.

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I've heard of this happening in all areas, not just "bad" ones. Do you have any recommendations for preventing theft, or what some catalytic convertor protection might look like? I'm thinking of having one made for a prius but not sure if it needs to be vented or how big it needs to be.