Car groups throw spanner in works of EU’s hydrogen drive

The lettering "BMW i - Hydrogen Next" can be seen on the front of a BMW X5 equipped with a hydrogen drive. The car is equipped with two 700 bar tanks for a total of 6 kg of hydrogen.

Enlarge / The lettering “BMW i – Hydrogen Next” can be seen on the front of a BMW X5 equipped with a hydrogen drive. The car is equipped with two 700 bar tanks for a total of 6 kg of hydrogen. (credit: picture alliance | Getty Images)

Europe’s two biggest industrial and economic powers are laying billions on the table in an attempt to take on China in developing a “green” hydrogen sector to replace fossil fuels—but the continent’s top motor groups are wary of going along for the ride.

“You won’t see any hydrogen usage in cars,” said Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess.

The idea of a big market for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells is “very optimistic,” according to Diess, who has overseen a €35 billion push into electric cars. “Not even in 10 years,” he told the Financial Times, “because the physics behind it are so unreasonable.”

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