Volkswagen has won an award for breakthrough technology used in a high temperature fuel cell.

The prize was awarded by the largest German consumer magazine Guter Rat in the special category ‘innovation of reason’.

In the last eight years, VW has developed a new type of membrane as the core element of the fuel cell. This makes it possible to construct a smaller, more efficient and better value for money system overall.

The main modifications are new high temperature membrane on a phosphorous basis and newly designed electrodes. This enables fuel cells to be operated over a long period of time at temperatures of 120 degrees C – without any power loss, without humidification and with no irreparable damage to the cells.

The special feature is that the high temperature membrane uses phosphorus acid instead of water for energy generation.

The first vehicle prototypes that use this high temperature technology could be around by about 2010. Series production is not expected before 2020.