There’s no question in anybody’s mind that the future of the auto industry hinges on advancements done on alternative technology. Whether its hybrid, electric, or even fuel-cell power, alternative energy is where the future is at.
At the 11th Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin, Germany, Audi presented a vehicle that could potentially reshape the landscape of the company’s direction in the future. In trying to examine the potential and probability of using fuel-cell power as an alternative drivetrain, Audi rolled out the concept Q5 Hybrid Fuel Cell (HFC). The SUV, which is actually in concept guise, was built as a technical study to determine the feasibility of a vehicle running on fuel cells.
In this particular configuration, the car comes with a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell that produces 98 kW, which is about 133 horsepower and is connected to a lithium-ion battery that comes with an energy content of 1.3 kWh. Roll it up together and you have a drivetrain that’s powered by two electric motors that produces a combined peak output of around 127 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque with an electronically limited top speed of 103 mph.
Despite its designation as a concept vehicle, the Q5 HFC’s hybrid chassis lends itself to the scenario that sooner than later, a production version may be produced. It’s not so much a question of ’if’ more than it is of ’when’.
When that time comes though is still anyone’s guess. But you can be sure that this won’t be the last vehicle Audi is looking into when it comes to the development of alternative drivetrains.