Rolls-Royce considers hydrogen fuel cell tech instead of BEVs for future cars

  • Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology driven by green hydrogen is considered the cleanest zero-emission powertrain technology.
Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology driven by green hydrogen is considered the cleanest zero-emission powertrain technology.
Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology driven by green hydrogen is considered the cleanest zero-emission powertrain technology.

Rolls-Royce is considering ditching the all-electric powertrains in favour of hydrogen fuel cell technology for its future zero-emission vehicles' propulsion system. British automotive publication Autocar UK reports that Rolls-Royce is waiting for the FCEV technology to be more mature and scalable to meet the demands before opting for it. Interestingly, the British luxury car brand is not keen on using hydrogen combustion technology in its cars, but keeping options open for hydrogen fuel cells.

Rolls-Royce's CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos has revealed that the automaker is working on the plan to use hydrogen fuel cell technology in its future cars rather than using battery electric technology. This statement comes after the debut of the Spectre, the automaker's first-ever series-production battery electric vehicle, which draws energy from a massive 120 kWh battery pack that offers a driving range of more than 482 kilometres and can charge at up to 195 kW. The Rolls-Royce CEO believes the hydrogen fuel cell technology is considered a possible alternative for future models.

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However, despite being open to hydrogen fuel cell technology, the automaker ruled out the hydrogen-powered combustion technology. The company's CEO thinks it is not the most efficient way to use the chemical element, recalling h what its parent company BMW used on a trial basis in the early 2000s with a specially engineered 7 Series. “I think a hydrogen combustion engine is nothing I would in any way look into, because that was tested already years ago. This is not the most efficient way to use hydrogen," he said, further adding, “If hydrogen will be used in the future, then it’s fuel cells. And fuel cells are nothing different from a battery. It is just how you get the energy."

However, there are challenges that the company knows well. hydrogen charging at home is a major challenge, while EV battery charging is easier. This is a potential problem that may stop the luxury carmaker from going forward with hydrogen fuel cell technology, exiting the batteries. “You can’t obviously have hydrogen charging at home, whereas with battery EVs you have one big advantage, and all our clients have big garages. There is lots of space at home and there is lots of space in office buildings to install charging. Quite a lot of our clients already have charging installed at home because, for many, Spectre is not their very first electric car," he said.

First Published Date: 17 Jun 2023, 09:47 AM IST
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