Fuel cell vehicles should be further improved. Key issues are cost reduction; higher power density of the primary energy converter, the fuel cell; wider operation ranges and improvement of operation parameters, e.g. higher operation temperature and starting ability in freezing conditions. Using advanced materials and construction principles is a key factor by meeting these requirements. The paper gives a short introduction to the technology of fuel cell vehicles and the most prominent fuel cell type for traction applications, the polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell (PEFC). Progress in material development of a core component of the PEFC, the bipolar plate is described.