VW truly excels in High-Tech, as we all know too well. And to prove the point, VW presents on the latest Los Angeles Show in world premiere a concept car with a fuel cell fed with hydrogen.
This means that VW has now succeeded in installing on its MQB platform all propulsion systems. Indeed, the new Golf is already available with a petrol engine (TSI), a diesel engine (TDI), a natural gas unit (TGI), an electrical engine (e-Golf) and last but not least a plug-in hybrid system.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
With the Variant HyMotion, VW has also brought fuel cell technology to the MQB platform. Of course, further research work still has to be done to make the fuel cell technology financially more accessible to a wider public.
Therefore it is also necessary that a proper hydrogen distribution system is set up. Next to this dense network, one has to establish a hydrogen production in suffiicient quantity using renewable energy.
The Golf Variant HyMotion is a lively performer, with an acceleration from 0 to 100 kmh in a mere 10 seconds.
The hydrogen is safely stored in not less than four tanks, which are reinforced with carbon fibre. These reservoirs are integrated in the platform, taking up minimal space. Their capacity allows the car to have an action radius of some 500 km, with refueling time being not more than three minutes.
The most important propulsion elements are developed by the VW research department at Wolfsburg. The fuel cell system itself, which develops some 136 HP, has been developed by the VW Technological Center for electrical propulsion.
The concept car also posesses a high capacity lithium-ion battery which stores the energy regenerated by the braking system. This battery also delivers additional power when needed under brisk acceleration.
The battery and the fuel cell power an electrical engine which has been derived from the e-Golf.
Volkwagen strongly believes that alternative propulsion systems can only be offered in cars which are sold in volume, and generally are quite affordable. In the light of this philosophy, several 'Laboratory' cars have been developed on the basis of the US version of the Passat, using the same drivetrain elements as the Golf Variant HyMotion. These Passat HyMotion are now being tested on the Californian roads and highways...
To be continued, so stay tuned on these columns!
Hans Knol ten Bensel