With all the hype on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, European automaker Volkswagen is focusing on other, more profitable projects.
While hydrogen fuel cell technology has been around for decades, it has only just now started to become possible to put them into vehicles. Some automakers are aiming for 2015 to get a production vehicle in front of the public, but not everyone is on the bandwagon. True, hydrogen fuel cell size is coming down and lifespan is going up, but costs are still not coming down fast enough for Volkswagen.
Instead of pursuing hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology, “impossible to build at a reasonable cost” according to CEO Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen will be focusing on other vehicle technology. They’ll continue their research into fuel cell, but perfecting and expanding the lineup of hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles will be the main focus for now.
There’s still plenty of innovation left in hybrid electric vehicles, such as the XL1 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that was shown this year at the Geneva Motor Show. A combination of a super-efficient diesel engine and a plug-in hybrid electric system, the XL1 hybrid is designed for 261mpg. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will come eventually, but Volkswagen’s got that on the back burner for now.