In July of 2008, I had talked about how Tongji University, the Shanghai Fuel Cell Vehicle Powertrain Company and Shanghai VW Automotive Company were building 20 VW Lingyu fuel cell vehicles for the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics later in August. Now, the Passat Lingyu FCV will make its North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show starting November 19, 2008.
This will be the first fuel cell vehicle to debut in North America. During the Olympics over 500 alternative fuel vehicles including the 20 fuel cell vehicles were put into service and on display.
The VW Lingyu FCV is expected, with further modifications, to be able to achieve a top end speed of 90 mph and a range of around 180 miles. As in the Beijing Olympics, where both the VW Lingyu FCV and the Chevy Equinox FCV were featured (GM is Shanghai VW’s global partner), this pairing of fuel cell vehicles will also be showcased at the L. A. Auto Show as well.
Based on the standard VW Passat Lingyu, the fuel cell version gives North American a taste of the future for this vehicle. Mass production of the VW Lingyu FCV may start as early as 2010.