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Audi Experiments With Hydrogen-Powered A7

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Audi looks set to add another technology to its wide 'tron' roster--hydrogen power.

As Autocar reports (via Motor Authority), the company is working on a fuel cell Audi A7, with trials due to begin at the end of August.

Not a word was said about the model at Audi's recent future lab tron-experience in Berlin, where Audi showed off its range of plug-in and natural gas vehicles.

Only two tron-badged models are confirmed for production: the plug-in hybrid 2014 Audi A3 e-tron, and the natural gas-fueled Audi A3 g-tron.

Like the majority of other tron vehicles, the fuel cell A7 will likely be used as a test-bed for future powertrain technology, rather than hinting at a production car.

Audi has explored fuel cell vehicles before, having tested a similarly-powered Q5 model back in 2009, but the technology looks of even greater interest to Audi today.

The company already stated that its impressive R8 e-tron supercar was canned due to the unsuitability of existing battery technology, but to Audi, hydrogen represents a way to use the same electric propulsion with less compromise on range or refueling time.

Of course, hydrogen and fuel cells aren't perfect either. That lack of infrastructure Audi cites as a problem with electric vehicles is even less established for hydrogen cars, and the world still lacks a truly efficient (and importantly, green) way of generating the hydrogen needed for road transport.

Hydrogen is still an avenue worth exploring--as ever, the future energy mix will be a wide one, and different technologies suit different applications--but don't expect a production fuel cell Audi any time soon.

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Comments (3)
  1. The key word being "Experiment".
     
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  2. Audi seems like the old guy/woman one used to worship until you knew a little more about him or her. Still pretty, still intriguing to a point, but like others, let me know when you actually get something into production already... Potential only means something when it comes with credibility and that's something VW/Audi don't have now in EVs.

    Yes, I hope the PHEV version of the A3 (sorry, e-tron) is a great success, don't get me wrong, but enough with the empty talk already, Audi. My love for you has waned, at least when it comes to EVs.
     
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  3. Theoretically, there's plenty of H2 infrastructure out there, if you install reformulators that convert gasoline into H2 + CO2. In that case, you're looking to improve mileage due to using that gasoline more efficiently than combusting it. This assumes that gasoline-capable solid-oxide fuel cells never get to the level of practicality of a H2 fuel cell.
     
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