Joining the likes of Toyota and Honda, Volkswagen has chosen this week to unveil a new fuel cell vehicle – the Golf SportWagen HyMotion. According to VW, the demo car illustrates the automaker's strategy of implementing alternative drives into existing high-production vehicles, as opposed to starting from scratch by creating entirely new models.
The HyMotion incorporates both a fuel cell and a 12-volt lithium-ion battery, along with an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf. The dual system's total power is 100 kW (136 PS).
The fuel cell, motor and transmission are located in the engine compartment, as are associated components such as the cooling system; a tri-port converter for regulating the voltage between the motor, fuel cell and battery; and a turbo compressor that supplies the fuel cell with oxygen.
The battery is in the rear section of the car, and is used to store kinetic energy recovered from regenerative braking, to assist in starting up the fuel cell, and to boost the car's acceleration. Four carbon fiber tanks situated in the underbody store the hydrogen used in the fuel cell, giving the vehicle a range of 310 miles (499 km). The tanks can be refilled in just three minutes.
As far as performance goes, the HyMotion can reportedly accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in an even 10 seconds.
The vehicle utilizes VW's Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) mechanical design system. Volkswagen claims that this system has made it possible for the Golf line "to become the world's first vehicle model series that can host all conceivable drive types." Along with the fuel cell-powered HyMotion, there are already gas, diesel, battery electric, natural gas and plug-in hybrid Golfs.
Before the HyMotion can become a commercial model, however, VW has stated that a better hydrogen infrastructure will need to be established.