The widening price gap has spurred speculation that petrol-powered car makers may switch from palladium to cheaper platinum. Anton Berlin, head of analysis and market development at Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), says this is unlikely. Palladium has some features that make it more suitable for petrol or hybrid cars, such as better resistance to higher temperatures.
Switching to platinum would take at least two years and would need additional work and costs to adjust engines and car-exhaust systems, said Berlin, whose company is the world’s biggest palladium miner and fourth in platinum. Manufacturers also need to use more of the precious metal than is needed with palladium, he said.