Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro Fuel Cell Concept
The new Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro fuel cell plug-in hybrid made its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show and has certainly made an impact thanks to utilizing new hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Audi A7 H-Tron Quattro Fuel Cell Concept
The A7 Sportback hydrogen powered car is a concept vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds and reach top speeds of 112 mph.
On a single tank, the A7 can travel up to 311 miles and the 230 hp engine offers an impressive 400 lb-ft of torque as well which puts it right within the range of other gasoline-powered Audis.
The A7 H-Tron Quattro is not powered by hydrogen fuel alone, but also works with a plug-in electric lithium-ion battery system which helps with overall efficiency. The fuel cell stack generates electricity from the hydrogen as well oxygen from the incoming air while only emitting water vapor as exhaust.
Hydrogen is seen by many as the clean fuel answer that will cut down on air pollution and carbon emissions. With water vapor deemed harmless to the atmosphere, fuel cell vehicles already surpass rigid EPA standards.
Other than the power source, the Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro is similar to the conventionally powered A7 mid-size models that feature a four-door hatchback. On the Audi concept vehicle there are two electric motors that power both the front and the rear wheels which adds to the overall efficiency of the design. Interestingly enough, Toyota is entering the hydrogen fuel cell market with their design, the Mirai which is set to come out in 2015. Rumors of the new A7 fuel cell have been circulating for over a year until they were confirmed with the showcasing of this vehicle at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The vehicle itself can run off electricity only from the battery for just over 31 miles and travel a remarkable 62 miles just on one kilogram of hydrogen. The vehicle also features four hydrogen tanks that are located beneath the trunk and in front of the rear axle.
The tanks themselves are reinforced, so it will take a tremendous impact in order for them to be punctured. It takes a mere 3 minutes to fully refuel the vehicle and there is even a regenerative brake system which adds to its overall efficiency.
The future of the A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro fuel cell vehicle (if it becomes a commercial production vehicle) will depend on the availability of hydrogen refueling stations which are just now opening up across the country. While Japan and some European nations are leading the way, the US which is a much larger country is catching up with California in particular getting into the hydrogen fuel trend.
Currently, the state has invested about $200 million in setting up 40 stations which will be online by 2016. Another 12 stations are being constructed along the East Coast with the rest of the country to follow once the hydrogen vehicles become more available.
The A7 hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is still in the concept stage with no current plans for production. Audi appears may be waiting for Toyota and Hyundai to pave the way for the future of this remarkable hydrogen technology.
Cool Youtube video of the Audi fuel cell vehicle disappearing billboard ad – https://youtu.be/ZLdKfNEhqSE