21 March 2018

Hydrogen: the list of automobile manufacturers is growing

Audi will join the fuel cell race in 2020. This announcement shows that the electric car is not the only solution and that hydrogen is well situated in the automotive industry roadmap.

When media evokes hydrogen, they tend to highlight that there is still a limited offer in terms of manufacturers. It is true, the list is limited to Hyundai and Toyota, plus Honda in a few countries. But now,  there is also Mercedes, who has just started the production of the GLC-FC. This SUV, which combines a fuel cell and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, marks the return of the three-pointed star brand to the H2 universe. It should not be forgotten that the Daimler Group has been a hydrogen pioneer, with significant contributions to the development of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany.

The surprise has just been revealed and it comes from the same country. In addition to the 100% electric models, including a GT e-tron battery, Audi will also release a hydrogen model in 2020. Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, believes that hydrogen is a perfect source of energy for tomorrow's mobility.

Still on the German side, we can expect that BMW will sooner or later join to this market as a result of its partnership with Toyota.

Little by little, the list keeps growing. Another example is Nissan, who tests a SOFC methanol fuel cell in Brazil, and General Motors with its hydrogen platform for special vehicles. And there is still a lot more to come, other brands will join the list for sure.  This might be the case of  the Chinese company Great Wall Motor, who has recently joined the Hydrogen Council. In addition, the presence of Bosch, the world's largest equipment manufacturer, also means that hydrogen will continue evolving within the automotive industry.

A sign of the times, PSA group has recently stated that they are reconsidering  fuel cells, especially for utility vehicles. The French manufacturer, who has worked on this subject in partnership with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for years, can also rely on the hydrogen expertise coming from Opel.



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