Back in March, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn voiced his doubts about the cost and infrastructure associated with building hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but according to Autocar, that isn't stopping Audi from developing a fuel-cell version of the Audi A7. While we're inclined to take this report with a grain of salt, this wouldn't be the first time a VW executive has made seemingly damning statements about electric powertrains that later proved to be incorrect.

After speaking with Audi technical chief Wolfgang Dürheimer, Autocar reports that Audi is building a fuel cell A7 that is expected to be ready for testing by August. Like the electric E-Tron and natural-gas-powered G-Tron models, the hydrogen fuel cell Audis could, if produced, carry their own "tron" nomenclature.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      They'll build a prototype, tell everyone about it, and then later cancel the project. That is the Audi way.
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        ... then VAG brings it back to life again and then cancels it.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          I like Vag....
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        "They'll build a prototype, tell everyone about it, and then later cancel the project. " The project *is* to build a prototype. It will be interesting to see what turns out! Commercial production is still likely a good ways off, but a high-end sedan would be able to bear the costs of a market entry better than a lower-priced model.
          Val
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          By which time hyundai, toyota, honda and nissan are supposed to have $50,000 models on the market. Oh, and btw, the electric R8 was supposed to be a limited run production vehicle, it was announced as such, and then canceled.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yes, I'm aware of the race to produce an FCV in the $50,000 range. That notwithstanding, there's still plenty of room for a high-end FCV sedan on the more expensive side of the spectrum, and it gives Audi a little more flexibility if they can't get their stack costs down as much as the Japanese and the Koreans expect to. VAG will certainly stay very much in the FCV game, so as to be well prepared when the German hydrogen infrastructure is available. What Audi builds, will also quickly make its way into mass-market VW products.
      Puck
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM will be coming out with the Gen 2 Voltec-System, spreading the platform across various cars and trucks... ...while Audi announces yet another project. Now, who's leading?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Puck
        [blocked]
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          Please, don't refer to GP as a "douche bag". Douche bags, at least, are useful and provide a valuable function.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          I like the \'douche\' automakers.... :D
      Tysto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Man alive, what a great looking car. I want that car, in black, with a Walther PPK, an exploding pen, and a dossier on a villainous industrialist.
      vocalist
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh brother....ya know? This is absurd....between the cost of Lithium, the $7500 tax credit, and the complexity of everything....we would be much better off with fuel cell cars. Instead of tax credits and the cost of the battery, that same money could be used to build and provide home units for the fuel cells. The primary cost, is the membranes and needing them to be eventually replaced, but even that is mostly offset by the cost of a home charging system and the greated electrical costs for charging a battery. Anyone can Google enough info to calculate all this.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      AB should have known better, that audi speak thru the two sides of their mouth.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, right. Where do you propose coming up with the hundreds of billions needed for the infrastructure?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          Germany has committed several billion in funding, which will provide ~1000 stations. Your estimate of needing "hundreds of billions" is staggeringly high.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          I realize that my analysis is horribly oversimplified, but hopefully it gives some perspective. We throw around a lot of big numbers but we need to remember the current situation: EVERY YEAR Americans buy 14 million new cars at an average cost of $30,000. That's $420 billion. I don't know how much is spent on used cars, but I suspect it is similar. EVERY YEAR Americans drive 250 million vehicles 12,000 miles using $3.50 fuel at 20 mpg. That's $525 billion in fuel. Given the amount of money spent on fuel annually, its silly to think that ~9.5 billion per year for hydrogen infrastructure would be a serious impediment to HFCEV adoption.
      Zapbrannigan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another criminal waste of taxpayer and shareholder money for yet another while elephant "future" tron product that will never be available commercially. It's hilarious that Audi think they can carry on like this when Tesla has showed you can build a high end electric sports sedan AND make money in 2013 - not some mythical distant TBD date...
        Brandon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        I didn't know taxpayers fund audi's projects. I'm sure they have enough money to build it on their own.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        It's a bit too soon to talk about Tesla making money.
      transpower
      • 1 Year Ago
      The problem, of course,with any fuel cell car, is the expense. Count me skeptical that Audi can get the price down low enough....
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @transpower
        Hence the reason of developing an FCV on an already very expensive platform. The additional cost of a fuel cell system can be absorbed more easily than on a less expensive platform.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      audi will never build a successful electric car, TESLA
      foobar
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here comes the F-Tron from Audi.
        Puck
        • 1 Year Ago
        @foobar
        Ooops..was supposed to be a thumbs up, not thumbs down *aargh*
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will take a Tesla Model S any day over this teutonic Luxo Barge !
      Puck
      • 1 Year Ago
      Germans announce cars Americans (and for that matter, Japanese - and let's not forget the Chinese - build 'em "Vorsprung durch Technik" - Yeah, right. "Vorsprung durch Announcement were more adequate.
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