Herbert Diess, the current CEO of Volkswagen, and Elon Musk know each other very well. In 2015, Tesla founder Diess even proposed to become CEO of the company when he left BMW. Although Herbet did not accept Diess Musk’s proposal, the two remain on a very good relationship.
However, should it happen that they disagree on certain topics, Herbert Diess and Elon Musk seem to agree that the hydrogen car is not credible and of little use. Diess first stated on Twitter: “It has been proven that the hydrogen car does not offer an answer to the climate problems of traffic.”
To which Elon Musk quickly replied: “This is right. Hydrogen is an incredibly stupid form of energy storage for cars, hardly suitable for an upper stage of a rocket.
Diess is right. Hydrogen is an amazingly stupid form of energy storage for cars. Hardly any consideration for a missile upper stage is what its most compelling use is.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2021
A solution that is of little use and would pollute
Herbert Diess underpins his remarks with a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. According to the Volkswagen boss, hydrogen is inefficient, expensive and even worse because it is environmentally harmful.
The study on which Diess is based explains: “Hydrogen is a false promise and will not be able to replace fossil fuels on a large scale for at least a decade”. Volkswagen has always expressed its position on the hydrogen car very clearly.
The German group already stated in 2019 that an electric motor loses a maximum of 30% of the energy generated, while the engine of a hydrogen car loses 45% of its energy when generating hydrogen and 55% when converting it into electricity. The efficiency would therefore be between 25 and 35% compared to 70 to 80% for a conventional electric motor.
The efficiency drops more if hydrogen is used as fuel without being converted into electricity. If Tesla and Volkswagen continue to be vehemently against hydrogen, other big manufacturers like Toyota, Hyundai and BMW will support this technology.