Cheap ferritic stainless steel is applied here as the counter electrode substrate in dye sensitized solar cells with cobalt complex electrolyte. A 5.0% efficiency was reached with these type of cells which is more than 2.5 times higher compared to previously reported devices with metal counter electrode and cobalt complex electrolyte. The electrochemical impedance spectra analysis showed that the best cells with the ferritic steel counter electrode had as low charge transfer resistance (3.6 Omega cm(2)) as the reference glass cells with the same electrolyte. While in previous studies many metals have corroded in the cobalt complex electrolyte, the stability analysis including scanning electron microscope imaging of the aged electrodes suggested that the ferritic stainless steel substrates did not corrode in the electrolyte. Hence ferritic stainless steel appears as a possible alternative counter electrode in dye solar cells with cobalt electrolyte in terms of cost, performance and stability. 2014 The Electrochemical Society. All rights reserved.