Battery-electric vehicles the focus for VW, which sees FCEVs as uncompetitive in passenger car class
Volkswagen has put to bed rumours that it’s planning to launch a passenger car powered by hydrogen, despite filing a patent for a fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) capable of covering 2000km on a single tank as recently as last year.
Speaking to Spanish outlet AutoBild, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer ruled out hydrogen power in the near future because of the many challenges involved with the emerging tech, including a lack of refuelling infrastructure.
“It’s not competitive, especially not for passenger cars, the tanks take up space in the cabin,” he said.
“Maybe for commercial vehicles, but not in the passenger car. So, I don’t see this happening in this decade. Not at Volkswagen.”
VW’s deal with Karftwerk Tubes to create more cost-efficient hydrogen fuel-cell technology was seen as evidence the German car-maker was plotting a production car.
But now it seems the tech will be shelved, at least for passenger cars.
With Hyundai ditching the development of its third-generation hydrogen FCEVs, Toyota and BMW are left as the two major players in the segment.
BMW recently started producing its BMW X5 FCEV, while Toyota continues to build its Mirai and develop new hydrogen concepts, such as the GR Yaris H2 and Corolla Cross H2.
Renault, meanwhile, is readying the tech for its next-generation Master van with the belief that FCEVs work best for commercial fleets.
Instead of investing further in hydrogen, Volkswagen remains committed to battery-electric vehicles, and will soon fully unveil the sixth member of its ID family, the 2023 Volkswagen ID.7.
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Keyword: Volkswagen rules out hydrogen car ‘this decade’