Rolls-Royce is thinking about converting their EVs into hydrogen cars
Rolls-Royce – one of the world’s most luxury automobile brands – has stated that it “might exit batteries” as it seeks to develop its next generation of clean cars. The company’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, believes hydrogen technology has improved to such an extent that making the switch to H2 might finally make commercial sense.
Asked about potentially moving into hydrogen fuel cells, Müller-Ötvös told British magazine Autocar, “Why not? I would say so when the time is right for us, and when the technology is so much advanced, that it is definitely something we would pursue as Rolls-Royce.”
Rolls-Royce announced its intention to sell only electric vehicles by 2030. But as hydrogen-electric cars gain a reputation for reliability and superior range, it’s possible this decision may be reconsidered in the next 5 years.
The latest Rolls-Royce car – named the ‘Spectre’ – debuted earlier this month at Villa d’Este in Italy. This marks the first time the UK-based automaker is selling an electric car, with the Spectre featuring a 120kWh battery, one of the largest in any production car. The vehicle is expected to have a range of over 300 miles and can be rapidly charged at 195kW.
Rolls-Royce, along with other companies delving into hydrogen technology, warns that the infrastructure must be significantly improved before the fuel cell can achieve widespread adoption: “You can’t obviously have hydrogen charging at home, whereas [with EVs] you have one big advantage, and all of our clients have big garages. There is lots of space at home and there is lots of space in office buildings to install charging,” Müller-Ötvös said.
However BMW CEO Oliver Zipse – who’s company owns Rolls-Royce – has predicted that the car industry will suffer from “a scarcity of raw materials [needed to build EVs] if we continue to ramp up production” in 2027 and 2028, and that hydrogen could be a solution because the drivetrain requires a smaller battery pack.