Automotive

VW premieres fuel cell-powered Golf SportWagen HyMotion at LA Auto Show

VW premieres fuel cell-powered...
Volkwagen's Golf SportWagen HyMotion in Los Angeles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Volkwagen's Golf SportWagen HyMotion in Los Angeles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Volkwagen's Golf SportWagen HyMotion in Los Angeles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Volkwagen's Golf SportWagen HyMotion in Los Angeles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The HyMotion incorporates both a fuel cell and a 12-volt lithium-ion battery, along with an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The HyMotion incorporates both a fuel cell and a 12-volt lithium-ion battery, along with an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
It can reportedly accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in an even 10 seconds (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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It can reportedly accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in an even 10 seconds (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Before the HyMotion can become a commercial model, VW has stated that a better hydrogen infrastructure will need to be established (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Before the HyMotion can become a commercial model, VW has stated that a better hydrogen infrastructure will need to be established (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
View gallery - 4 images

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.

The HyMotion incorporates both a fuel cell and a 12-volt lithium-ion battery, along with an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The HyMotion incorporates both a fuel cell and a 12-volt lithium-ion battery, along with an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

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.

Source: Volkswagen

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8 comments
Robert Hirsch
and where do you get the Hydrogen?
yawood
@Robert Hirsch Look at the last line.
If they get serous there is a whole infrastructure of petroleum service stations that can sell hydrogen just like they sell Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). I have a dedicated LPG Ford Falcon ute that runs every bit as well as a petrol vehicle and costs half as much to run. Every city/town service station and all major highway service stations in Australia sell LPG alongside petrol and diesel. They could easily do the same with Hydrogen if there was enough call for it, it's just a chicken and egg thing.
Slowburn
At least it is not as stupid looking as most these wastes of money.
Gavin Roe
I have expecting this for sometime fuel cell technology has been around a while hydrogen production and storage has been an issue, do you store it in a refrigerated tank or within another medium ie some form of sponge there has been many variation proposed for the sponge. Hydrogen production can be achieved through the use or organisms used as a catalyst much of this technology was around 30 years that I know of so it would seem it is is a matter of economics for the manufacturers
Freyr Gunnar
But what's the point of turning hydrocarbon into hydrogen before turning it into electricity?
Why not just run the car directly on NGV? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_vehicle
Paul55
Using hydrogen seems pointless. There's already a distribution system for electricity. Just use that directly and if you want to spend money spend it on the research and development of batteries for electrical storage.
Jerry Peavy
Fuel Cell's, really. Why?
Paul Bedichek
Trucks do run on natural gas in the US and I expect that segment to grow. When conformable tanks become available more passenger cars will use it. The cheapest way to get H2 is steam reforming of NG but some is derived from water with wind or solar but the cleanest way will be sometime in the future with advanced nuclear which can make H2 from water using the heat and current. EV are fine for people with a house but many live in apartments. We already have a network of hundreds of miles of storage and pipelines for H2 in the South, it's used for refining and food among other uses.