LOS ANGELES -- Volkswagen is next in line to join the hydrogen party with a concept version of its new Golf SportWagen compact powered by a fuel cell electric drivetrain.
The hydrogen EV, dubbed the Golf SportWagen HyMotion, has a range of 310 miles (500km) and can be refueled in about 3 minutes, VW says.
It was introduced Wednesday at the Los Angeles auto show.
The HyMotion is a concept car for research, and VW has no firm production plans. But the company has integrated the concept’s fuel cell powertrain into a small fleet of Passat sedans for testing in California, it says.
Honda and Toyota have introduced stand-alone hydrogen fuel cell nameplates.
The HyMotion reflects VW’s contrasting strategy of offering its mainstream nameplates with alternative powertrains.
“Unlike many of its competitors, Volkswagen is following the strategy of placing alternative drivetrains in high-volume production vehicles,” the company said in a statement. “Just like the all-electric e-Golf and the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE, the SportWagen HyMotion shows how fuel cells could be integrated into a well-engineered, usable, and attractively priced vehicle.”
The HyMotion rides on the same modular platform -- better known by its German acronym MQB -- that underpins the current-generation Golf. Interior space in the HyMotion is the same as a conventional Golf SportWagen because of the platform’s ability to accommodate a variety of different powertrain types, VW says.
The fuel is stored in four carbon fiber tanks mounted under the body. It also shares its electric motor and transmission with the battery electric e-Golf.