Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess has solidified his company's commitment to battery-powered vehicles, rejecting hydrogen as a viable fuel alternative.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Diess was adamant there was no future in hydrogen passenger cars due to limitations in the technology.
"You won’t see any hydrogen usage in cars," Mr Diess said.
"Not even in 10 years, because the physics behind it are so unreasonable. You can’t ramp the fuel cell up and down like a combustion engine. So you need another 10kW battery, you need an electric engine, and you need to run the fuel cell."
The comments come as both Hyundai and Toyota expand their presence of hydrogen models in Australia, with the brands racing to deliver zero-emissions government fleets and open hydrogen fueling stations in major capital cities.
According to the report, major manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis – which represent the newly-joined Fiat-Chrysler and PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) Groups – are joining Volkswagen Group in shunning the technology.
General Motors was one of the first to turn its back on hydrogen-electric models, publicly stating in July 2020 it would not be pursuing the technology as part of its push to offer 20 zero-emissions vehicles by 2023.
Philippe Prevel, Renault's head of alternative fuel, disagrees, arguing vehicles that have to travel more than 300km must consider hydrogen as a way of transporting heavy loads – but cautioned the technology was not feasible until at least 2030.
Prevel isn't alone, with Hyundai delivering the first of its new hydrogen-powered trucks in 2020, with a pilot program running in Switzerland.
However, Volkswagen's Diess remains a sceptic, suggesting the high cost of hydrogen equates to three times the cost per kilometre travelled when compared with an equivalent battery-electric truck.