Hybrid vehicles could in future be powered by fuel cell and battery rather than by burner and electric motor, Bert Hellwig, of German car supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, said on Monday on the opening day of the Hanover industrial trade fair.
Fuel-cell-powered hybrid vehicles would make refueling easier for customers used to petrol or diesel engines, Hyundai product manager Oliver Gutt said. The Korean manufacturer already has such a car on offer.
But there are unanswered questions about the next generation of battery - known as the solid-state battery - according to Wolfgang Haselrieder, of Battery LabFactory Braunschweig.
Haselrieder believes that it will be 10 or 15 years before this battery is commercially viable.
Hydrogen is a big issue in other countries, said Nikolas Iwan, of H2 Mobility Germany. In Germany, 100 hydrogen refueling stations are to be installed by the end of the year, with 400 stations the long-term goal, he said at the Hannover Messe.
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess put the case for battery-powered electric vehicles over other forms.
"We have to focus. Technological openness is the wrong slogan just now and only leads to pushing back the change in system," he said.
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