Volkswagen CEO: ‘Hydrogen does not belong in cars’

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess is clearly not a fan of the hydrogen car concept. The German argues that in his view it is not a serious option as an energy source for cars.

Hydrogen is still seen by various car manufacturers as an interesting energy source for passenger cars. For example, Hyundai still has the Nexo on offer and wants to build 700,000 fuel cell cars per year by the end of this decade. Toyota also believes in it and recently presented the second generation of the Mirai. Toyota also wants to focus on hydrogen in Europe as an energy source for, for example, taxi fleets around ‘hydrogen hubs’. At the Volkswagen Group they have a very different view. Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently stated that Audi is not thinking about it. In no uncertain terms, he now receives support from his boss, Herbert Diess.

The Volkswagen Group CEO says on Twitter that hydrogen is certainly interesting, but not for cars: “It is time for politicians to embrace science: hydrogen is needed for the steel, chemical and aero industries. It should not be in cars. It is far too expensive, inefficient and slow and difficult to deploy and transport. There are no hydrogen cars on the way, “says Diess.

Betting on ‘plug car’

The CEO, on the other hand, is happy with the proposal that the European automotive industry organization ACEA is making to the EU. This wants the EU to focus on 1 million public charging stations by 2024, according to consultation with affiliated car manufacturers, environmental organizations and consumer groups. “Automakers, consumers and environmentalists all agree: E-mobility is the right way to tackle climate change,” Diess agrees. According to him, they want to reach 3 million public charging points in the European Union by 2029.

Opinions divided

At the end of last year, research by KNAC and Bovag showed that consumers still see hydrogen as an interesting energy source for cars. Techzle spoke about this with several car manufacturers, scientists and experts. However, this resulted in an image that largely underlines Diess’s statement; PSA, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, among others, see hydrogen as something particularly interesting for heavy industry, for example, but not so much for passenger cars. We then heard from Toyota that the fuel cell car should not be seen as a competitor to a plug car. “It is wrong to see BEV and FCEV as competitors. If we want to solve the CO2 problem, we have to bring several technologies together. We do not believe that one technology can offer the solution, especially at the moment. to various markets, some of which already have very green energy. “

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