A senior executive at Germany’s largest automaker, Volkswagen, is saying that fuel-cell cars are not going to live up to the hype that is surrounding them. Dr Jurgen Leohold, head of research at Volkswagen, believes that hydrogen-powered cars won’t save the world from CO2 emissions.
In a recent interview with AutoCar. Dr. Jurgen Leohold said that fuel-cell cars, like Volkswagen’s own HyMotion Touran, are not the future of alternative power and are only getting so much attention because of the strict emissions laws in places such as good ol’ California.
Describing them more as a marketing gimmick, Leohold says that the problem lies within building a solid infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations. Even then Leohold believes fuel-cell powered cars won’t cut down emissions. “Because hydrogen has to be produced using existing power, CO2 emissions are still an issue,” he said.
However, Leohold believes the true solution lies within biofuels and advanced batteries that will see improvement within the next five years.
Recently, Daimler AG said that it plans to start mass production of fuel cell vehicles in less than 10 years.
“By 2012 or 2015, we will be technologically well-advanced and in a position to produce cost-effective cars, comparable to those with other technologies,” Christian Mohrdieck, Daimler”s director of fuel cell system development, said at a conference last month.
GM has sent out 100 test vehicles to customers for its fuel cell program. The Chevrolet Equinox SUVs and the Chevrolet Volt are expected to hit the roads in 2010.
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