BMW is getting ready to begin testing a new hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
“We’ve said we’ll continue to invest in hydrogen and that will result in a small number of production test vehicles being made to prove the technology works,” said BMW sales and marketing boss, Ian Robertson.
Back in 2007, BMW installed a hydrogen fuel-cell powerplant into its 7-series, but the powertrain was not very efficient or powerful. Now, BMW is working with Toyota, a company which has made large strides in fuel-cell technology, to develop a new fuel-cell engine for its cars. Compared to 2007, fuel-cell stacks are now much smaller and hydrogen technology is more efficient.
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But the German brand is not fully sold on hydrogen just yet. “The real issues lie not around what we can do, though, but whether the infrastructure can be built up to supply hydrogen in the marketplace cost-effectively,” said Robertson. He went on to suggest that battery-electric vehicles may become more convenient than hydrogen fuel cells based on advancement in battery technology in recent years.
If BMW does bring a hyrdogen fuel-cell car to market, expect it to be sold under the ‘i’ brand of eco-friendly vehicles.
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