Audi announced it has mastered hydrogen fuel cell technology at the LA Auto Show Wednesday, where the company unveiled its new sustainable model — the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro.
The German auto giant’s new entry into the plug-in hybrid market features a hydrogen fuel cell and twin electric motor drivetrain in the front and rear of the vehicle, which can carry the car some 341 miles between three-minute refuelings. The electric battery alone can carry the car about 31 miles on a single two to four-hour charge, depending on the connection.
Altogether the h-tron’s all-green drivetrain cranks out 228 horsepower and separates the front and rear axels entirely for full electronically managed torque distribution. According to Audi, the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro can do 0-62 m.p.h. in 7.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 112 m.p.h.
“The A7 Sportback h‑tron quattro is a genuine Audi – at once sporty and efficient. Conceived as an e‑quattro, its two electric motors drive all four wheels,” Audi technical development leader Ulrich Hackenberg said. “The h‑tron concept car shows that we have also mastered fuel cell technology. We are in a position to launch the production process as soon as the market and infrastructure are ready.”
Toyota — which plans to launch its own hydrogen sedan next year — is working with the California government to start building a network of hydrogen refueling stations there and in the Northeast via another partnership, according to The Verge.