Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-07-02 17:00
Electric power “has its limits” and that future passenger cars will use hydrogen, says Continental executive
Electric power for cars “has its limits” and cars will be hydrogen-powered from 2030, an automotive-industry expert has said.
Dr Felix Gress, head of corporate communications and public affairs at automotive technology firm Continental, told an audience in Germany that electric cars represent poor value for money compared to petrol or diesel alternatives.
“For the customers, it will be difficult to accept such a car in the market – you pay a higher price, you get less of a car, so it will be a tough sell.”
And, while EVs may be grabbing the headlines and industry attention, Gress predicted that focus will be reversed within a decade or so. “The fuel cell is not ready to kick in yet,” Gress added. “By 2030, we’ll see that coming, especially in passenger cars that run long distances, or trucks.”
Gress added that manufacturers need to focus on electric cars in order to lower their fleet emissions and meet upcoming regulations in various markets, many of which have plans to limit or ban the sale of new conventionally powered petrol and diesel cars.
While these motivations may be driving the automotive industry, Gress warned drivers may not actually buy electric cars large numbers, partly due to what he perceives as their inherent limitations. “The battery technology, according to our estimations, has its limits,” he admitted, adding that “it doesn’t generate enough range” for some people’s needs.
Circling back around to the topic of hydrogen vehicles, Gress said this was something Continental is considering. “Fuel cell is not out of reach, I would say. The question is when it would kick in. We are working on that area, too.”
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