Audi's appearance at the North American International Auto Show was highlighted by a key talking point at this event.
They showcased the Audi h-tron Quattro "concept" car to demonstrate among other things advances in fuel cell technology. The car combines fuel cell capability with an output of up to 110 kW with a battery that can provide a temporary boost of 100 kW.
Car and Driver's Michael Taylor wrote that the car actually runs as a front-drive vehicle at low speeds and light throttle openings, drawing all of its power from the battery rather than fuel-cell stack. "When the battery begins to run down or power demand increases, the car starts to push hydrogen through its fuel cell."
The car can be fully refueled with hydrogen in around four minutes, ready to drive for up to 600 kilometers (372.8 mi).
Where are the hydrogen tanks? There are three of them, located under the passenger or luggage compartment. At a pressure of 700 bar, said Audi, they store enough hydrogen the 372.8 mi range.
As for the battery, it is a compact lithium-ion battery weighing less than 60 kilograms (132.3 pounds), beneath the passenger compartment, said Audi, "to optimize the center of gravity."
The power from the fuel cell and battery drives the two electric motors located on front and rear axles.
Chris Ziegler in The Verge summed up its impressive stats. "The company says it'll run around 372 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, sprint to 62 mph in under seven seconds, and can refill in just four minutes."
Martyn Williams of the IDG News Service commented: "Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen gas into electricity, harnessing the most abundant element in the universe to power a vehicle with the only byproduct being water vapor. The technology is in its infancy, but concepts like Audi's show that automakers believe hydrogen has a serious chance to replace gasoline in hybrid cars of the future."
Another key talking point about the concept car was the interior. Since this is a concept, said Farooqui, Audi can try some things that it can't necessarily bring to production cars immediately. Farooqui said the interior was quite "conceptual and futuristic, with things like curved OLED displays making the cut."
Jens Meiners, writing in New York Daily News, said, "we truly appreciate the futuristic interior. It paves the way for the next-generation A8 and further Audis. With curved, touch-sensitive OLED displays, the h-tron's cockpit is as intuitive to operate as it is fascinating to look at. There are OLED in the rear compartment as well, to display the highly sophisticated entertainment system."
© 2016 Tech Xplore