As other automakers back away from hydrogen fuel cells, Audi appears to still be in the game.
Ballard Power Systems, a manufacturer of fuel cells for commercial applications, announced Monday a new fuel-cell stack developed in concert with Audi. The FCgen HPS stack is designed for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles, according to Ballard.
The company said it currently holds the right to use this fuel-cell stack in a variety of applications, including rail, marine, construction, and aerospace. It recently signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Audi to expand its usage rights to include commercial trucks and passenger cars.
Audi hasn't discussed any plans for fuel-cell production cars recently, but it previously built a small demonstration fleet of fuel-cell A7 fastbacks.
Most other automakers that previously showed an interest in fuel-cell passenger cars have shifted focus recently.
Audi A7 h-tron quattro
Mercedes-Benz earlier this year halted fuel-cell development for cars, although it continues with commercial truck potential for its parent Daimler AG.
Other automakers are mostly aligned with this philosophy. While Hyundai has big plans for a hydrogen society, and it's the top seller of hydrogen vehicles, it's struggling to expand availability in the United States due to the limited infrastructure.
However, BMW has continued its fuel-cell investment. The German automaker is borrowing hydrogen tech from Toyota for a low-volume fuel-cell version of its X5 SUV, scheduled to start production in 2022.
Toyota is looking at commercial-vehicle applications for fuel cells, but it's also planning a second-generation Mirai sedan with sleeker styling and a 400-mile range.