Fears about battery supply have seemingly forced the luxury automaker to make fuel cell development more of a priority.
- shares

Audi is developing 12 electric vehicles for launch by 2025, but the luxury marque will also up its investment in hydrogen fuel cell development.

Bram Schot, Audi's CEO, has told Autocar the company wants to speed up development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the company harbours some fears about the supply of batteries and other vital EV components, but remains committed to emissions-free driving.

“If this modality is here to stay, then you have to try to find the most effective and efficient way to drive electric,” Schot said.

“And then you come to hydrogen fuel cells.”

He pledged to "put more priority into hydrogen fuel cells – more money, more capacity of people and more confidence".

The first solid evidence of Audi's renewed interest in the technology will come in the form of a new concept car to be revealed by the end of the year.

This will be followed by a limited-run fuel cell vehicle. Due around 2021, the car will be fitted with a moderately sized battery pack good for around 150 kilometres of pure electric driving. Like a regular plug-in hybrid, it can recharged and refuelled.

As with earlier fuel cell vehicles from Toyota and Honda, Audi's 2021 model will likely only be available on lease, with outright purchase unavailable.

It will be made at the company's Neckarsulm factory in Germany, which also produces the A6, A7 and A8.

The hydrogen fuel cell technology for the both the upcoming concept and production vehicle will come from Audi's fuel cell partnership with Hyundai, which was announced in 2018.

Note: 2016 Audi H-Tron concept pictured.