21 Mar 2019, 12:31
Sören Amelang

German carmakers agree to bet on e-cars and hybrids, fuel cells not ready – media

dpa / Focus Online

BMW, Daimler and VW have settled a dispute over how to manage the transition to green mobility, by agreeing to focus on electric and hybrid cars rather than fuel cells, which won’t be ready for many years, according to a dpa report carried by Focus Online. At a telephone conference with the carmakers’ association (VDA) head Bernhard Mattes, VW CEO Herbert Diess, BMW CEO Harald Krüger, and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche agreed that battery electric vehicles and hybrids were “the order of the day,” according to the report, which did not reveal a source. The managers agreed that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles wouldn’t be market-ready for another 10 years.

Earlier in the day, BMW head Krüger had argued against betting solely on electric cars, saying it was important to keep an open mind on the various options because it was still possible that governments might compel carmakers to offer fuel cell models.

Meanwhile, VW said it would join Swedish battery maker Northvolt in an effort to establish a battery cell production in Europe. VW said its “European Battery Union (EBU)” consortium would forge ahead with research into “the entire battery value stream.”

Earlier this week, VW had threatened to quit the VDA over its commitment to keeping options over the different technologies. Volkswagen wanted the VDA to fully focus on battery-electric vehicles, arguing that the development of other propulsion technologies, such as fuel cells or gas engines, would only divert much-needed resources.

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