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Volkswagen’s Secret Project: A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

German car manufacturing giant Volkswagen is working on the next hydrogen fuel cell technology and has reportedly filed for a patent for a vehicle and a hydrogen fuel cell stack with a range of 1,243 miles, or 2000 kilometers, according to news outlet ecoticias.

If the vehicle hits the market, it would be the first fuel cell car from Volkswagen. The German carmaker is reportedly developing the technology together with German firm Kraftwerk Tubes. The new fuel-cell technology contains a ceramic membrane which is cheaper to manufacture than the polymer membranes used by the Asian manufacturers of fuel-cell vehicles Hyundai and Toyota.

Volkswagen, however, isn’t ditching its electric vehicle (EV) development despite signs of slowing global growth in adoption.

Last month, Volkswagen said it would debut in 2027 an affordable compact EV in the price range of around $21,450 (20,000 euros), with Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume saying “It’s about entry-level electric mobility from Europe for Europe.”

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand and head of the Core brand group, commented, “Despite the attractive price, our electric cars will set standards in the entry-level segment in terms of technology, design, quality, and customer experience.”

Earlier this month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Volkswagen’s announcement, saying that the idea of a cheap EV is “very good.”

“We are the country with the most powerful car industry in the world, and we want to remain a global player,” Scholz said.

Volkswagen and all other legacy automakers in Europe have had to contend with cheap Chinese EVs undermining Europe-made EV sales.

Volkswagen’s EV sales beat Tesla’s in Germany in May, but Tesla Model Y remained Germany’s best-selling all-electric car model this year, with 13,316 registrations between January and May.

However, sales of all EVs in Germany slumped by between 15% and 40% during the period compared to the same five months of 2023, with the market share of BEVs slumping.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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