The VW Group will start series production of vehicles with fuel cells in 2030 at the earliest. The new technology may not be introduced in cars, but first in trucks and other large vehicles.
Jürgen Jablonski, Head of Development for the fuel cell at Audi and in the VW Group, announced this at the “The Drive of Tomorrow” automobile congress held by the MTZ trade magazine in Hanau.
Jablonski also confirmed that Audi would produce a small series of a luxury SUV with a fuel cell. Jablonski named the years 2022 or 2023 as the time.
“Range and fueling play an important role in the introduction of the fuel cell. And that automatically leads to heavy goods traffic, ”said Jablonski to 140 developers and car managers in Hanau. However, the company’s fuel cell is being developed in such a way that it can be used in numerous areas of application. In addition to trucks and cars, Jablonski also mentioned trains, ships, aircraft, buses, and households. This is the only way to get the group to the necessary quantities. Jablonski specified the minimum size for the production of at least 100,000 fuel cells per year.
The need for the introduction of drive technology with CO2-free hydrogen is clearly the greatest for trucks. The technology is also conceivable in the SUV, says Jablonski. The VW group, like Toyota, is already in a position to launch vehicles with fuel cells on the market. But that makes no sense because the costs for the fuel cell are still too high for series production.
“First of all, we concentrate on the electric car, continue to maintain the traditional drives and then get into the fuel cell,” says Jablonski. The fuel cell vehicles would then go into series production in ten to 15 years. It is about making money with the fuel cell.