Electric vehicles such as those from popular brands like Tesla Inc. are in danger of being overtaken by hydrogen-powered cars in the near future. 

This bold statement comes from the German automotive industry expert Dr. Felix Gress, who heads Continental’s corporate communications and public affairs department. According to the executive, electric vehicles, although environment-friendly, tend to look poorly at the value for money compared to gasoline-powered engines. Because of this, there will be a significant shift in the market by 2030 when consumers would prefer hydrogen-powered cars over electric vehicles.

“The fuel cell is not ready to kick in yet. By 2030, we’ll see that coming, especially in passenger cars that run long distances, or trucks… Fuel cell is not out of reach, I would say. The question is when it would kick in. We are working on that area, too,” Gress said

According to a report from Teslarati, Gress claimed that electric vehicles from brands like Tesla, Bollinger and Rivian won’t be easily accepted in the market even if most of the vehicles are enjoying exceptional media attention and public interest. 

“For the customers, it will be difficult to accept such a car in the market – you pay a higher price, you get less of a car, so it will be a tough sell,” the executive said. He further explained that based on Continental’s studies, battery technology, which also includes fuel cells of EVs, has a lot of limitations. 

“The battery technology, according to our estimations, has its limits. It doesn’t generate enough range for some people’s needs,” he added. 

Gress’ sentiments are considered surprising because Continental once recognized the potential of Tesla as a formidable player in the vehicle software market. Now, the executive seems to be implying that EVs are nothing more but a prelude to the soon-to-be bigger industry of hydrogen cars. 

This sentiment mirrors other analysis from executives like BMW’s director of development, Klaus Frölich. In a recent round table discussion held in Munich, Frölich said that electric vehicles actually have no demand. 

“There is no customer requests for BEVs,” he said. The statement was done in response to Europe’s Transport and Environment lobby group, which is currently working on the adoption of more EVs in the market. The executive, however, said that even if his firm comes up with a wide range of EV choices, no one would actually buy the cars. 

tesla model s Tesla Model S vehicles parked outside a car dealership in Shanghai. Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images