Audi gets serious about developing fuel cell technology
Audi has acquired a set of patents for fuel cell development from Canadian company Ballard Systems Inc. In addition to obtaining these valuable patents, the company will broaden its collaboration with Ballard in the future.
This move is seen be industry experts as a bid by the German luxury car manufacturer to gain more momentum. Audi board member Ulrich Hackenberg explained: "Audi acquires these strategic patents for the entire Volkswagen group and makes them available for all other brands within the group. This secures decisive expertise for us and will generate new impulses for further development of the fuel cell technology."
Daimler is the European leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, but Audi is a major researcher in this field. Audi CEO Rupert Staller recently announced that Audi is committed to the development of alternative drive advancement in a bid to meet the stringent CO2 fleet emission target of at least 95 grams per kilometre. He added that fuel cells would make up 30% of this achievement.
November last year saw Audi debut the inaugural fuel cell-based prototype. The AZ h-tron quattro Sportback has a range of 500km, with the stack of 300+ fuel cells delivering a combined voltage of 230-360V.
Showing its commitment to this sector of technology, Audi has run a hydrogen generating plant using wind turbines since 2013. The hydrogen is currently used in the production of methane; however, Audi says there is the option for a network of hydrogen filling stations in the future.