Car News 16/09/2019

Audi to put a fuel-cell vehicle into production within four years

Hydrogen vehicle would be part of German firm’s all-out assault on electrification

Audi looks set to put a fuel-cell vehicle into production within the next four years.

A fuel-cell vehicle is one that uses hydrogen to power an electric drivetrain, providing emissions-free driving without the need to plug a car in.

Hyundai and Toyota both currently offer such vehicles, though a lack of infrastructure and high prices means the fuel type is unlikely to take off in the near future. Despite this, Audi looks set to join the field — with a prototype car already undertaking testing.

Speaking to Australian publication Motoring, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG, said: “That happened two weeks ago exactly; I drove it [the fuel cell vehicle] two weeks ago.

“We’re working together with Hyundai and we’ve completed a prototypical production line for these thin films in the stack, and right now we’re debating with Hyundai this very topic: how do we get the equipment and production engineering right for that thin-film [stack]”

It’s not known if the fuel cell vehicle will be based on an existing model or a bespoke car, though it’s possible it could use the all-electric e-tron as a base — Audi’s first ground-up electric car.

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