Despite a big push on battery electric cars, Audi is resurrecting its hydrogen fuel cell ambitions with plans for a new FCEV Concept.
Is there one answer to the problem of replacing ICE cars with something far less polluting? No, of course not, although it’s the battery electric cars which is storming ahead as car makers desperately seek an answer to the problem.
The Volkswagen Group, in particular, is throwing almost all its eggs in to a BEV future with plans for a huge swathe of new electric VWs in the coming years – whether car buyers actually want them or not and are no doubt banking on solid state batteries to drive more appeal in BEVs in the short term.
But in the medium to long term, it could well be hydrogen powered cars which end up being the future, using the most abundant element in the universe to create electricity from a fuel cell stack in a car to power our future transport.
Some car makers, notably Hyundai and Toyota, are still pushing forward with FCEVs, hoping the future will deliver economies of scale, that government, or the private sector, will buy in to a hydrogen future and develop a refuelling infrastructure, and that new ways of acquiring hydrogen ‘fuel’ will be simpler, cheaper and more efficient.
Now you can add Audi to the list of hydrogen prospectors as, according to Autocar, they’re reviving their h-tron programme – with input from Hyundai after the VW Hyundai agreement on hydrogen cars – and will become the centre of competence for hydrogen fuel cell technology in the VW Group.
It seems a new Audi FCEV Concept will be revealed later in 2019, and it could be offered to customers on a lease programme by 2021.