Pure electric power may not dominate as much as we expected.
Much like the arrival date of the elusive Tesla Cybertruck, it remains unclear exactly when electric vehicles will finally replace those with conventional combustion engines across the industry. Europe's proposed 2035 combustion ban isn't yet set in stone, and several automakers are still working on hybrids and alternative technologies.
Hydrogen power is one such alternative that enthusiasts are excited about since it will potentially allow us to enjoy the sound of of an engine for years to come. Yamaha has already developed a hydrogen-powered V8, and Alpine's A4810 concept is a full-on hydrogen supercar. At the time, the French automaker didn't say much at all about the powertrain, but it has now delved deeper into its future hydrogen plans.
According to Autocar's interview with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, the company is "very actively" looking into employing hydrogen technology for both racing and road cars. "It's only normal we look at parallel paths," said Rossi. "And I say parallel on purpose. The idea is we want to find alternatives that are not necessarily incompatible with electrification, because electrification is - whether we liked it or not - the future of automotive for at least 60-70% of the automotive parc."
If 30-40% of Alpines could theoretically run on hydrogen power, that's a healthy ratio for enthusiasts who still want to experience the emotion that can only come from a non-electric or hybrid setup.
Rossi suggested the implementation of a hybridized V6 powered by hydrogen, but didn't go so far as to say how much power it could make. He said that both LCVs (light commercial vehicles) with high payloads and high-output cars could benefit from hydrogen power.
"We believe there might be a proof of concept that could be done, with hydrogen as a fuel, that could then later on translate into super high-performance cars, and why not Alpine road cars?"
Alpine's plans for hydrogen are encouraging, to say the least, and it's not the only carmaker still investing in the technology. Toyota already has the Mirai sedan, and it is said to be working on a hydrogen-powered Corolla Cross and a GR Yaris that also uses hydrogen. Between the two automakers, hydrogen is being used for everything from a conservative sedan to a supercar concept and potentially an LCV - this demonstrates the versatility of the tech. More than this, it could be the savior of the combustion engine at a time when its future seemed doomed.