Meet yet another adaption of Volkswagen’s popular Golf lineup: the Golf SportWagen HyMotion. This hydrogen-powered Golf is still a concept vehicle until a hydrogren infrastructure is built out. Then, VW plans to “flip the switch.”
Underpinning the VW Golf HyMotion Concept is VW’s new and versatile Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) vehicle architecture, making it essentially identical to other Golf products, yet with a new fuel cell powertrain. The new powertrain has an expected fuel range of 300 miles and produces zero emissions, while making 100 kW or 136 PS and being able to propel the Golf from 0 to 62 mph in 10.0 seconds.
Hydrogen is stored in four high-tech carbon fiber tanks that are located in the underbody and don’t reduce interior space. The Golf SportWagen HyMotion also has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery adapted from the e-Golf mounted in the trunk. The battery stores kinetic energy produced through regenerative braking, and assists on startup as well as during maximum acceleration.
In addition to being extremely cost-effective thanks to the highly-scalable MQB architecture, the new Golf gives the Wolfsburg-based VW a competitive advantage in being the “world’s first vehicle model series that can host all conceivable drive types.” Already available with a gasoline, diesel, hybrid, natural gas and the new electric e-Golf, consumers have a range of powertrain options. And unlike competitors, every powertrain option is available in the same model — the Golf — rather than a variety of cars and powertrains.
VW makes it a point for us to know that it has been developing its own in-house hydrogren fuel cell powertrain since the 1990s. The automaker’s research has led it to develop this powertrain, which is being used in both the Golf SportsWagen HyMotion and the Audi A7 h-tron quattro. Also, there is a fleet of hydrogen-powered Passat vehicles currently being tested in California.
What is holding up the VW HyMotion from becoming a full-scale production model? In a word, infrastructure. VW says they will wait for not only the hydrogen fueling infrastructure to be built, but also for the mass production of hydrogen itself. Once these two items take place, VW will simply “turn on” production and immediately begin offering the powertrain in the Golf.