Audi Q6 Hydrogen Fuel Cell SUV To Debut At 2016 NAIAS

1 year ago by Mark Kane 62

Audi Q6 e-tron at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show

Audi Q6 e-tron at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show

Audi A7 Sportback h-tron

Audi A7 Sportback h-tron

It’s expected that later this month, Audi will unveil at the 2016 NAIAS in Detroit a concept hydrogen fuel cell car.

Moreover, it could be the Q6 h-tron – a separate version that differs from the all-electric Q6 e-tron quattro.

The h-tron version will be equipped with fuel cells instead of big batteries (h-tron will still get a small battery pack, as do all fuel cell cars) and of course hydrogen tanks.

Exterior design is expected to be similar to Q6 e-tron.

We’ll be on hand at the 2016 NAIAS with live images and reports from the show floor.

Source: Autocar

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62 responses to "Audi Q6 Hydrogen Fuel Cell SUV To Debut At 2016 NAIAS"

  1. evcarnut says:


    1. Sting777 says:

      Suicide-al people.
      Yes, but first those people would have to wait for TWO MILLION Dollar Hydrogen stations to be built.

      1) Another Carbon Solution, and this time a METHANE carbon solution, so just incentivizing the creation and release of a 20 Times More Powerful Green House Gas.
      3) Probably the Most Explosive Mode of Transportation ever created. Except for those Nuclear Cars just around the corner for 50 years.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        thanks for explaining that, it was taking me a while….

      2. John Doe says:

        Tesla hugger FUD. Fuel cells combined with a small battery are simply way better for cars than large, heavy, expensive batteries. End of discussion.

        1. SJC says:

          I prefer smaller fuel cell with higher capacity battery, a plug FCHEV that you don’t have to plug in because you have a fuel cell. Batteries for local, fuel cell for long trips.

        2. Big Solar says:

          Fuel Cell cars make no sense whatsoever on this planet.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          John Doe said:

          “Fuel cells combined with a small battery are simply way better for cars than large, heavy, expensive batteries. End of discussion.”

          Gosh, we wait with bated breath your explanation of how you’re magically going to alter the physical properties of hydrogen to make it a practical fuel. [/snark]

          “If only the world weren’t governed by the unfair and cruel laws of thermodynamics and economics, the hydrogen economy could rule the world.” – HVACman, comment at, July 8, 2015

    2. ffbj says:

      I don’t know is that someone who does themselves away kind of as an afterthought, as in on the side,or a side line, or maybe it is really lazy person, as suis idle? Suisidle. That just kills me.

  2. Anon says:

    Careful, Toyota actually found clueless people to buy their fugly Mirai, even though:

    Hydrogen is expensive at the (non-existent, broken or half-capacity capable) pump. Around $10 per kg, on average.

    Never mind the highly corrosive, leaky, and metal embrittleing nature of hydrogen inside the drivetrain components. Reliability and replacing exotically coated corrosion resistant parts might become a problem…

    Most of the hydrogen from commercial pumping stations will come from stripping it out of Hydrocarbons, i.e., the Oil Industry.

    The low energy density of the converted material mandates onboard tanks to withstand 10,000 psi to obtain max range, plus collision shielding to prevent puncture / rupture. Not something you really want to sit on top of in an accident with shearing forces, or fire. The resin in carbon fiber melts pretty good.

    BUT PEOPLE ___STILL___ BOUGHT THEM!!!! WTF, right???

    1. Anon says:

      The tanks on this natural gas truck were only 3600 psi, so imagine what a hydrogen tank at 10,000 psi could do:

      1. Three Electrics says:

        I’d have to imagine, since you’re comparing apples and oranges.

        For the curious, FCEV hydrogen safety is discussed here:

        1. JimGord says:

          Check out what happens when lowly CNG tanks at 3,600 psi when the heat from the fire causes the over-pressure safety valves to open (see 1:00 of the video)

          – Then image hydrogen tanks under 10,000 psi doing the same thing

      2. evcarnut says:

        Had That Have been Hydrogen, They wouldn’t have gotten 0ff so easy. Zer0 Deaths …Thank God!

      3. Tony Lazzerini says:

        Imagine what would happen if a BEV caught fire.

        Wait, no need to imagine, just read this article two down.

        1. Anon says:

          Yes. Much safer and less explosive than ICE fires.

          BEVs can’t be beat for energy efficiency, TCO and safety.

          1. SJC says:

            TCO after replacing a battery pack after 10 years for $20,000.

            1. Big Solar says:

              packs dont cost that now (except maybe Tesla) so in 10 years they will be half what they are now at worst.

              1. sven says:

                Don’t forget the labor involved. Tesla charges $400 parts and labor to change out the 12-volt battery in a Model S. So much for Elon saying Tesla Service Centers won’t be a profit center for Tesla. I guess Tesla has to offset the cost of all those “free” warranty repairs somehow.

    2. evcarnut says:

      It Beats The Hell 0ut 0f my Brain. These People Are Paying to Be Their Own Worst Enemies…

    3. evcarnut says:

      WTF Is Rite!!

      1. ffbj says:

        The worst fire I ever saw was a coke truck. It burned for hours, thick black smoke, all that coke was a huge amount of fuel as in HFCS. So all fuel burns if exposed to the necessary conditions for combustion.

    4. Dan says:

      I don’t get your argument. Look at the periodic table. All the Group I elements that include Hydrogen and the alkali metals like Lithium and Sodium are all highly reactive. A hydrogen fuel cell is not all that different from the Lithium air battery that people consider to be the next generation of battery technology. The concept is identical.

      1. Ambulator says:

        Hydrogen is formally in group 1, but it is quite an exception. There is only a slight commonality with lithium, sodium, etc.

        1. ffbj says:

          Saying Hydrogen is highly reactive is not incorrect, nor is noting similarities with the alkaline metals, apparently.

          “Inorganic materials chemist Dominic Wright of the University of Cambridge in the UK, is excited by the study. ‘The elegant demonstration that H+ ions can function in the same way as alkali metal ions within distinct molecular arrangements could herald a new direction in molecular and supramolecular main group chemistry.”

          This work confirms hydrogen’s position at the top of group 1 and seems likely to stimulate further debate and discussion.

          1. Ambulator says:

            Hydrogen is not even a metal*, every other group 1 element is. There is no sodium equivalent to methane, although there is for acetylene. Some similarities, but mostly not.

            *The center of Jupiter is thought to contain hydrogen metal.

            1. sven says:

              Pushmi-Pullyu is thought to be hydrogen mental.

      2. Just_Chris says:

        +1, anyone ever heard of a metal hydride battery? Or a flow battery? Or a sodium sulphur battery? Fuel cells and batteries have more in common than people like to admit.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          How many times must we point out the obvious?

          The problem with “fool cell” cars isn’t the fuel cell. It’s using hydrogen as a fuel to power them which is foolish, impractical, overly expensive, wasteful, and polluting.

          If someone comes up with a practical, affordable fuel cell that can be charged up at home with electricity, possibly a rechargeable aluminum-air or lithium-air “battery” (or more precisely, fuel cell), then that might well be an improvement over using lithium-ion batteries to power an all-electric car.

          I assure you, very few of us will have any problem supporting that kind of fuel cell!

      3. Lindsay Patten says:

        I don’t think that lithium air batteries or flow batteries etc. use a high pressure fuel storage tank. Also, hydrogen is the only element in column 1 of the periodic table that is a gas at ambient temperatures.

        1. Dan says:

          Not as high as Hydrogen for sure. During charging, a lithium ion pouch can get up to 150psi at which point, most manufacturers add in circuitry to vent gases out. In fact, if you look closely at the video of the recent Tesla fire in Norway, you can see the moment where one of the cells exceeded its pressure limits and failed explosively.

          None of this should scare people away from either technology. We’ve sent a capsule with humans in it to the moon and back. It’s relatively easy to engineer both a BEV or an FCEV to be safe for consumer use. Just remember that a lot of what we hear on thee forums preferring one over the other is marketing FUD. These technologies aren’t mutually exclusive of each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if we converge on a hybrid that uses a small lithium pack for city range and a FCEV for highway range.

          As far as I’m concerned, the geek in me is simply enjoying the ride that comes with rapid technological change!

        2. SJC says:

          Reform renewable diesel to hydrogen on the vehicle, no high pressure storage and fuel available across the country.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            SJC said:

            “Reform renewable diesel to hydrogen on the vehicle…”

            Or maybe you should use that energy to charge batteries, instead of wasting 2/3 or 3/4 of it in making “renewable” diesel and then reforming it. Also, maybe you should use highly efficient electric power instead of horribly inefficient hydrogen power, so as not spew out all the pollution and CO2 that comes with wasting so much energy.

            1. SJC says:

              Renewable diesel is made from plant oils, the plant absorbs carbon while growing. Alternative fueling stations sell renewable diesel in many states.

    5. jerryd says:

      You can always find a few suckers but just how many $14/gal/kg fueled cars can you
      Even at the 75% subsidized price!!
      Even Toyota admits it isn’t viable and won’t be for decades.
      They take 1kwhr/mile so not only is the fuel expensive but an energy hog to boot when similar BEV’s take 25% as much/mile of much cheaper energy.

    6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “BUT PEOPLE ___STILL___ BOUGHT THEM!!!! WTF, right???”

      Calm down. Even with as few of these “fool cell” cars as Toyota is making, it has still found the (lack of) demand to be disappointing. Even the dwindling few still ladling out propaganda in favor of “the hydrogen economy” can’t keep up the pretense much longer.

      This Potemkin Village boondoggle is already falling apart. So few hydrogen fueling stations have opened — far fewer than planned — that Toyota has had to resort to what it hilariously calls “mobile fueling stations”. (The oxymoron of a “mobile” station makes this grand pretense even more absurd!)

  3. mustang_sallad says:

    The last H-tron concept included 30 miles of EV range.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    Audi working on a Q6 h-tron…good grief…don’t even know what to say to this…

  5. Pete Bauer says:

    BMW is going to sell the plugin version of 3, 5 & 7 series cars, hope Audi can follow this route or just miss the surge of electric vehicles in Chinese market.

    Where are they going to sell these Fuel Cell Vehicles, is it in Japan, Korea where they don’t buy any imported vehicles.

    VW may very well be pushed into #3 in 2016 with GM overtaking it. They are losing big time in Dieselgate scandal.

  6. Sting777 says:

    CARB needs to KILL the Hydrogen tax credit.

    1. Scott Franco says:

      boy have I got bad news for you. CARB has been in been in bed with automakers for a long time now. See the movie “who killed the electric car”. More recently CARB went after biodiesel, even though it is a far cleaner fuel than regular diesel. Now we have carb fawning over fuel cells, despite the fact they just move the source of pollution down the street.

      CARB has done some amazing things to improve air quality in California. But realize also they are a highly politically charged organization in a one party state that does nonsensical things to help the highest bidders. Carb is far from “clean” politically.

      1. ffbj says:

        Right. So sad. The most fawning of all the dinosaurs?

  7. Concerned says:

    All of you spreading fear and ignorance about Hydrogen are all nuts. Go update yourself, or get an engineering degree. It’s tiring to see the same ignorant and alarming comments in 2016.

    1. Just_Chris says:


      I sometimes wonder if it is the same people commenting here on fuel cells that were commenting on BEV’s around 2010 or hybrids in the 1990’s.

      1. sven says:

        I wonder if the Prius driver in this video now drives an EV and posts comments in hydrogen fuel cell articles on InsideEVs.

    2. shawn marshall says:

      never a lack of empty drums banging on as if thdey know the future. They are just smarter than everyone else.

      1. Big Solar says:

        sure sounds that way…. it just happens that way occasionally.

    3. Anon says:

      Unless the foundation of basic physics in the Universe has suddenly changed ( it has not):

      Hydrogen can’t compete with BEV efficiency, vehicle TCO, crash and fire safety, low cost of supporting “refueling” infrastructure, low “fuel” costs, ability to travel from one coast to the other, etc. BEVs have all the advantages. There is no point to pushing hydrogen– unless you intend to sell it to people who don’t know any better.

      Stop pushing Exxon’s greenwashing agenda to make hydrogen mainstream. So tried of factless “support” for hydrogen, other than generalized whining. Go FUD somewhere else. Like, or the American Petroleum Institute. 😛

  8. przemo_li says:

    I’m trying to find kWh of Hydrogen. For batteries its 100-300 kWh per kg. So if hydro is better it needs bigger number then that or else arguments about weight do not hold up (nor about handling since EV for same range would be always lighter…)

    1. Just_Chris says:

      It is about 1000 Wh per kg in a carbon fibre tank, batteries are typically around 100 to 300 Wh per kg. Petrol is over 10,000 Wh per kg.

  9. przemo_li says:

    Also what will be price tag of Hydrogen? ‘Cause Miraii can hold 1200 litters. Like thousand of’em.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Hydrogen fuel is sold by the kilogram, not the liter. The volume would depend on how highly it’s compressed, so trying to price it by the liter would not be practical.

      Price is around $15-16 per liter for “renewable” hydrogen. But 95% of commercially produced hydrogen is made from reforming natural gas, and I haven’t seen any “fair market” price for that when dispensed as fuel for a FCEV. Some stations are, or were, selling it for about $8 per kg, but that was a subsidized price; a price which will not be sustained if there is a surge in the number of people trying to buy it.

      The EROI for renewable hydrogen fuel is about 10 times worse than the current average EROI for gasoline, so science, economics, and common sense all tell us that the price will never come down to a level at which it can be competitive.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


        “Price is around $15-16 per liter…”

        Ack! That should, of course, be $15-16 per kilogram.

        1. SJC says:

          Renewable hydrogen can be made at the fueling station by using renewable electricity contracts, or reforming methane from landfills and water treatment plants.

      2. przemo_li says:

        If I got my number right 1200 liters equal to 1200 * 0,07kg = 84kg in fully loaded Mirai.

        500km -> 80kg
        100km -> 16kg.

        With 8$ per kg its over 100$ for 100km.

        So my math and chemistry is flawed somewhere…

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          The Mirai has two fuel tanks, each of which can hold 5 kg of H2 when filled to maximum pressure, so that’s a maximum of 10 kg.

          I don’t know if any of your other figures are incorrect, altho your estimate of $100 per 100 km seems far too high.

          However, keep in mind that a fuel cell is only about 50% efficient in using the energy in hydrogen to power the car, so you can divide the kWh by 2 for purposes of figuring out how far it will take the car.

          1. ElectricPower says:

            1kg hydrogen is 11986 liters at 20 degrees C and 1 bar.
            1kg hydrogen has 33.3kWh.
            1kg hydrogen in toyota mirai fits in 18 liters at 10 000psi.
            Mitai has 2 tanks, 60 liters each for around 5kg H2.
            Mirai use 1kg hydrogen for around 62 miles.

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    At this rate, given the almost nonexistent demand for “fool cell” cars, the auto makers are approaching a 1-to-1 ratio between concept cars and those who might actually want to drive one!

    So sad to see all these resources, and money, thrown a way on a dead-end technology.

    1. Three Electrics says:

      Tell me true: do you work for, or are a PR firm connected with, Tesla?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Gosh yes, Three Oil Companies Three Electrics, all of us who learned about physics in high school and college are in the pay of Tesla Motors. Why, it was Elon Musk who invented the Laws of Thermodynamics, and he was the first to point out the utter impracticality of trying to use hydrogen to power a car.

        Oh, wait… None of that is true. Here is the article which opened my eyes to the impracticality of H2 fuel. It’s from 2006, before I ever heard of Elon Musk:

        But hey, you’ve made it clear that facts are irrelevant to your campaign to promote the “hydrogen economy” for the benefit of Big Oil. So I’m sure you’ll continue to ignore facts, science, and economics.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          P.S. — Three Oil Companies Three Electrics:

          If I really was working for Tesla Motors, directly or indirectly, you can be sure I’d be much more polite to people like you. I’m merely call you “misguided”, instead of the FUD spouting, EV-hating troll you are.

  11. JimGord says:

    BEST VIDEO on why Hydrogen makes no sense for vehicles

    Audi is on a fools errand