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Various technologies are currently being considered for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector. For applications with high range requirements, such as heavy-duty traffic, hydrogen as an energy carrier is a promising option due to its high gravimetric energy density and the possibility of fast refueling. Both the hot conversion in a combustion engine and the use in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell are technically possible.Hurdles for the market breakthrough of the use in a fuel cell are mainly the infrastructure, the system costs as well as the necessary service life for the application in heavy-duty long-haul trucks. The aim of further development must therefore be to optimize costs while taking the long service life into account.MAHLE therefore uses the existing know-how of the large-scale production processes for targeted component development. The requirements resulting from the technical component stress serve as a basis. A comprehensive vehicle simulation in GT Suite is used for this purpose. Based on these simulation results, MAHLE components are pre-developed and further optimized for customers.The paper gives an overview of current technologies and challenges of the fuel cell and its peripheral systems and goes into detail about optimization using the example of the cathode path.