Hydrogen cars are coming. As drivers get used to a motoring future without petrol, with some making the jump to battery electric cars, manufacturers have been busy developing hydrogen fuel cell technology as a sustainable way of keeping the wheels moving once the oil runs out.

German automotive giant Volkswagen is the latest manufacturer to throw its hat into the hydrogen ring, with its Golf SportWagen HyMotion. Like the brand’s battery-powered e-Golf, this new, clean vehicle looks nearly identical to a regular fuel-burning Golf, with Volkswagen betting familiarity will boost sales more than the futuristic designs of its Japanese rivals’ hydrogen models.

But how do hydrogen-powered cars work? The simple answer is that the hydrogen is combined with air from the atmosphere in the fuel cell, which creates electricity that powers the car. The full answer is rather more complicated, but thankfully Volkswagen has produced the video above to explain things simply and in detail.

While it is now established that hydrogen is a viable fuel source for cars, and a number of manufacturers are racing to get their product to market, development of fuel cell cars is currently being hindered by high production costs and a global lack of supporting infrastructure.

Would you consider buying a hydrogen fuel cell car? Have your say in the comments section below.