German car managers rely on hydrogen

DGerman auto managers rely not only on electric cars with batteries when switching to climate-friendly drives, but also on the fuel cell with hydrogen. The management consultancy PWC surveyed 210 executives in the industry – 83 percent demand politicians to support mobility in a way that is more open to technology.

Eight out of ten managers surveyed also see automakers themselves as obliged to research and develop in an open-technology manner in order to exploit all options for climate-friendly mobility. One option is the fuel cell, “mainly because of the more environmentally friendly production in contrast to the battery cell,” said the consultant. PWC plans to publish the study this Monday.

“Emancipate from production sites in Asia”

Management consultants, however, rate the fuel cell controversially. It turns hydrogen and oxygen into water vapor and electricity, which then drives an electric motor. The fueling time and range of the cars correspond to those of petrol engines. German companies are leaders in hydrogen technologies. But a lot of electricity is needed to produce the hydrogen, the technology is expensive.

PWC Strategy & European Director Peter Gassmann said that with technology-open research and development “the switch to climate-friendly drives in Germany can be significantly advanced”. Germany and Europe would have to emancipate themselves from production sites in Asia and expand local skills and capacities. This helps to “secure the competitiveness of the automotive industry as Germany’s key industry against American and Chinese competitors”.

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