Hydrogen: ‘complete nonsense’

Wolfgang Ziebart, JLR’s technical design chief and the man who oversaw the I-Pace’s development, dismissed hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles as a ‘complete nonsense’.

According to an Autocar report, Wolfgang Ziebart, who was appointed by JLR boss Ralf Speth in 2013 to oversee the development of the company’s I-Pace battery electric vehicle, said hydrogen did not make sense as a fuel for electric vehicles due to its inherent poor efficiency.

Wolfgang said, ‘The well to wheel relationship from the energy source to the vehicle is a disaster. You end up with a well to wheel efficiency of roughly 30% for hydrogen, as opposed to more or less well to wheel 70% efficiency for a battery electric vehicle. Also, you have to consider the fact that the battery itself has a high efficiency of around 90% or so.’

He continued, ‘This is the most important argument. The other stuff – for example, the infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell refuelling not being developed yet – that can be overcome. If there was a strong reason to have a hydrogen infrastructure, then I think it would be set up, but with this disastrous well-to-wheel relationship, it doesn’t just make sense.’