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Volkswagen Passat HyMotion fuel cell-powered practicality (pictures)

The market isn't ready for fuel-cell cars, but Volkswagen is. This is the hydrogen-powered Passat HyMotion.

Tim Stevens
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
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1 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

This is the Passat HyMotion, a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car from Volkswagen.

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It's basically an EV, but instead of taking its electricity from batteries, it comes from the fuel cell. This means it can be fully recharged in minutes.

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And, from the outside, you'd never know anything was different.

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Though to be honest gray isn't the most exciting of colors.

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Under the hood things look fairly alien, though.

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Lots of high-voltage wiring, handling the current from the fuel cell.

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The HyMotion actually has a small battery pack, which is charged through regenerative braking.

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The powertrain is basically the same as the e-Golf.

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The interior is virtually indistinguishable from a standard car.

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Automatic transmission only -- sorry manual fans.

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The only change in the interior is the dash, with a power meter on the left rather than a standard tachometer.

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Just in case you weren't sure whether this was a standard Passat, the graphics will let you know.

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Perhaps the biggest compromise in the HyMotion: the trunk space is severely restricted.

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Volkswagen has no plans for production yet, but when the market is ready, so too will the car be!

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