Executives prefer to focus on pure electric cars.Audi is investing a huge sum of money into electrification, but the company has all but confirmed it's putting hydrogen fuel cells on the back burner. Its decision reflects parent company Volkswagen's skepticism towards the fuel.
The luxury brand will introduce a fuel cell-powered car "one of these days," according to Volkswagen Group boss Matthias Mueller. He declined to provide a more specific time frame, or reveal which model it will be based on.
"The worst thing you can do is kind of half bake electric, then go off on another science project with fuel cells, then go running to another science project," explained Scott Keogh, the president of Audi of America, in a recent interview with Automotive News.
Keogh added Audi will turn to hydrogen once it has mastered electrification. It will launch "limited fleets" of fuel cell-equipped cars in the next five years, which suggests the consumer model won't arrive until 2022 at the earliest. American sales are uncertain at best.
Rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW are moving forward with fuel cell research. Mercedes introduced the GLC F-Cell two weeks ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and BMW strongly believes hydrogen is the future of long-range, zero-emission driving. Only time will tell which side made the right decision.