Volkswagen rules out hydrogen cars

Volkswagen refrains from hydrogen cars to invest solely in EVs

Volkswagen announces that it is going to refrain from hydrogen cars and will focus on further developing electric vehicles. It was stated by CEO Thomas Schafer in an interaction with Autobild Spain. He further stated that vehicles having fuel is a big disadvantage compared with batteries for vehicles.

Volkswagen rules out hydrogen cars
Image credits- Car Scoops

Stating the reason, he further stated that hydrogen fuel cell technology is not for Volkswagen, at least not in the next ten years. “It’s not competitive, especially not for passenger cars, the tanks take up space in the cabin. Maybe for commercial vehicles, but not in the passenger car. So, I don’t see this happening in this decade. Not at Volkswagen,” Schafer said. Volkswagen CEO sees greater opportunity for growth in pure electric vehicles, as more and more customers wish to switch from internal combustion engine-powered cars to electric vehicles, with its overall global sales in 2022 going down by seven percent, but with impressive numbers on the EV front.

Interestingly, the German automaker’s CEO’s comment comes at a time when several global auto majors like Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and BMW are exploring hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative powertrain technology.  These automakers are investing a great amount of money in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Electric vehicles

These automakers are investing a great amount of money in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. In fact, car brands like Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda have launched their respective cars in the segment. BMW rolled out X5 with the technology. However, these don’t seem to bother Volkswagen, as it aims to follow its own principle. Interestingly, hydrogen is considered a pure form of zero-emission fuel, as the only tailpipe emission coming from it is water. The main drawback infrastructure this technology is the high costs and lack of infrastructure to support this. 

Honda sold the Clarity Fuel Cell, Hyundai has the Nexo Fuel Cell, BMW has rolled out some prototype X5s with fuel cell technology, and Toyota has the Mirai and is exploring the segment further after unveiling the Corolla Cross H2 Concept at the end of 2022. Sales of hydrogen fuel cell cars (FCV or FCEV) have been struggling in the United States in the last decade, with just 2,707 units sold in 2022 and less than 15,000 FCVs getting into customers’ hands in the past 11 years. Compare that with VW’s sales of the ID.4 EV alone, which amounted to more than 20,000 units in the US last year, and the German executive’s remarks seem to make sense, at least from a sales perspective.