Volkwagen says hydrogen cars aren’t competitive enough to launch before 2030January 31, 2023
VW’s CEO has stated that they do not plan to roll out H2 passenger vehicles in the 2020s.
While several automakers have committed massive investments into hydrogen cars, this trend is not universal across the entire automotive industry, as other carmakers don’t see immediate potential in this use for H2.
Though many haven’t ruled out the potential for H2 vehicles one day, they just don’t think it’s here yet.
Toyota, Hyundai, BMW and Renault have all been heavily developing hydrogen cars powered by fuel cells. That said, on the whole, they are in the minority, as many other major automakers have stuck to the battery electric vehicle path for the time being. While Volkswagen hasn’t outright said that it doesn’t see potential in the use if H2 in the passenger vehicle industry, what its CEO has stated is that it doesn’t see the option as competitive enough to invest in it early enough to roll one out before 2030.
CEO Thomas Schafer spoke to the media at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he stated that H2 isn’t yet for Volkswagen due to a number of challenges in rolling out this type of passenger vehicle when compared to battery electrics.
“It’s not competitive, especially not for passenger cars, the tanks take up space in the cabin,” explained Schafer at the time. “Maybe for commercial vehicles, but not in the passenger car. So, I don’t see this happening in this decade. Not at Volkswagen.”
On the other hand, some automakers see tremendous potential in early development of hydrogen cars.
While Toyota and Hyundai are the automakers that have the biggest H2 passenger vehicle footprint in the United States, it’s Toyota and BMW that have made the largest investments into H2 technologies for cars.
BMW recently announced the beginning of its BMW X5 hydrogen test car production. Similarly, Toyota recently unveiled its Corolla Cross H2 Concept, which placed H2 internal combustion engine technology into the spotlight. Renault has been developing a Master van next generation which will have an H2 version.
Still, while hydrogen cars continue to draw growing attention, Volkswagen has focused its emission-reducing strategy on battery electrics, stating that any potential for H2 to take off enough to be worthwhile won’t happen before the end of this decade.