Toyota, Hyundai, BMW and Renault continue to invest in the development of fuel cell vehicles, which most often use hydrogen as fuel, despite the shift that the entire market is taking towards 100% electric models. Volkswagen is not unaware of the potential of hydrogen but has no intention of launching a model with this technology, at least before 2030.
The Spanish division of AutoBild met with Thomas Schäfer, Managing Director of volkswagen, at the CES in Las Vegas. According to him, hydrogen still has too many disadvantages compared to electricity.
“It’s not competitive, especially for private cars, the tank takes up space in the cabin”said Schäfer. “Perhaps this is [possible] for commercial vehicles but not individuals, so I don’t see that happening this decade. Not at Volkswagen.”Toyota and BMW are today the most active in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The German manufacturer has planned the production of a small series of the BMW X5 in a hydrogen version while his Japanese counterpart unveiled a Toyota Corolla Cross H2 Conceptalso hydrogen.
Volkswagen seems for its part totally focused on the electric. The sixth member of the ID family was revealed at CES with the presentation of the Volkswagen ID.7 the manufacturer’s first electric sedan, in a concept car version, although it was also spotted on the road.
As with many manufacturers, Volkswagen saw a drop in sales in 2022 (-6.8%) but its electric models have convinced a record number of customers (+23.6%) even if they represent less than 10% of total sales.
“Over the last 12 or 18 months, we have seen a lot of historical customers switch to electric vehicles and they are fully satisfied with it”welcomed Schäfer. “It’s going mainstream.”