BMW starts European road tests of hydrogen fuel cell cars

A BMW i Hydrogen Future car photographed in Munich, Germany, on March 12, 2021.

Andreas Gebert | Bloomberg | Getty Illustrations or photos

The BMW Team has started off to check automobiles that use a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain, with the German automotive large placing the technological know-how by way of its paces “in daily disorders on European roads.”

In an announcement Wednesday, the company described prototypes of the BMW i Hydrogen Future would be examined on a variety of metrics including dependability, basic safety and efficiency.

It described hydrogen fuel mobile tech as having the “extended expression likely to health supplement internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrid devices and battery-electric powered vehicles.”

The technological know-how could, BMW went on to add, “turn out to be an beautiful alternative to battery-electric powered drive trains – especially for buyers who do not have their very own entry to electric charging infrastructure or who commonly travel very long distances.” It is hoped the tests will direct to the manufacturing of a modest-series design in 2022.

The vehicles’ particular person cells are presented by Toyota, with BMW creating the fuel cell stack and full drive technique. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT’s hydrogen tank can be crammed in a few to 4 minutes, the corporation says, furnishing drivers with “a selection of numerous hundred kilometres in all climate situations.”

Described by the Global Vitality Company as a “versatile electricity provider,” hydrogen has a wide variety of apps and can be deployed in sectors this kind of as marketplace and transportation.

BMW is a person of a number of automotive corporations exploring the possible of hydrogen and is not new to the concept of applying it in a motor vehicle.

Back again in November 2006 it declared manufacturing of the BMW Hydrogen 7 experienced started, describing the auto as “the world’s first hydrogen-powered luxurious saloon vehicle.” The Hydrogen 7, it included, applied an internal combustion engine and was ready to operate on petrol (gasoline) or liquid hydrogen.

Far more recently, on Tuesday Jaguar Land Rover claimed it was doing work on the prototype of a hydrogen gas cell electric powered car or truck, with screening of the concept slated to start afterwards this year.

The motor vehicle will be based mostly on the new variation of the company’s Land Rover Defender, and is portion of JLR’s broader try to fulfill a goal of zero tailpipe emissions by the yr 2036. Tests will target on spots these kinds of as gasoline intake and off-street capabilities.

Other brands that have dipped into the hydrogen gas mobile industry include things like Toyota and Honda, while scaled-down firms this sort of as Riversimple are also working on hydrogen-powered cars and trucks.

This 7 days also observed Volvo Autos announce it would partner with SSAB, a Sweden-headquartered steel manufacturer, to “jointly explore the advancement of fossil-free, higher good quality metal for use in the automotive marketplace.”

According to Volvo Autos the collaboration will, amid other factors, concentration on an SSAB initiative identified as HYBRIT, which was founded together with electrical power enterprise Vattenfall and LKAB, which makes iron ore.

The HYBRIT project’s aim, Volvo Cars and trucks claims, is to “exchange coking coal, customarily desired for iron ore-dependent steelmaking, with fossil-totally free electric power and hydrogen.”