BMW sticks to hydrogen fuel cell technology as a possible future energy source for cars. The Bavarian car maker is working on hydrogen powered cars since over 30 years.
BMW shows its new advancements in hydrogen powered cars. BMW is chasing Tesla with their recently introduced electric cars, but the Bavarian car maker is also investing considerably still in hydrogen powered cars.
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The BMW Group has focused on the use of hydrogen as an energy source for more than 30 years now. In 2006 the first luxury sedan for everyday use to be powered by a hydrogen combustion engine was unveiled with the BMW Hydrogen 7.
The results of the research and development activities in the field of hydrogen fuel cell drive systems have been presented in driving demonstrations for the first time during the BMW Group Innovation Days 2015. The demonstration vehicle, based on a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, reveals a take on this form of propulsion in keeping with the brand’s profile and character. It combines locally emission-free mobility with sporting dynamics, excellent ride comfort and long-distance capability.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Hydrogen key features include:
Electric motor developing 180 kW/245 hp, power electronics and high- voltage battery for interim energy storage; developed as a variant of BMW eDrive technology for BMW i cars and BMW brand plug-in hybrid models.
Hydrogen storage in the form of a tunnel tank between the front and rear axle; industry standard 700 bar CGH2 vessel technology and cryogenic pressure vessel technology (CCH2) patented by the BMW Group for storing gaseous hydrogen at low temperature and 350 bar pressure; operating range: over 500 kilometers (more than 300 miles).
Fuel cells, housing and ancillary systems: initial results from the collaboration between the BMW Group and the Toyota Motor Corporation on Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) technology.
The strategic collaboration between the BMW Group and the Toyota Motor Company agreed at the beginning of 2013 has provided fresh momentum for the development of FCEV drive technology. The aim of the collaboration is to have an initial group of approved components ready by 2020. The successful introduction of FCEVs is dependent on the development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the markets concerned.
The two collaboration partners are supporting this process through jointly created technological standards which make fuel cell-powered vehicles easier to use and help to increase their reach and numbers.
The hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) represents a concept focusing on locally emission-free mobility combined with hallmark BMW dynamics and a high level of energy efficiency. The hydrogen fuel cell drive system combines the benefits of BMW eDrive technology with a host of qualities familiar from conventional combustion engines.
The key features of the BMW hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle include:
All-electric, locally emission-free driving.
BMW eDrive electric motor generates instantaneous power delivery and impressive dynamics.
Power electronics, high-voltage battery and intelligent energy management based on the BMW Group’s eDrive technology.
Long-distance capability with an operating range of more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) thanks to the high energy density of the hydrogen carried on board.
Fast and convenient refueling in under five minutes.
Fuel cell technology therefore makes an ideal addition to both the BMW i models and, in the future, the series-produced models from the BMW brand fitted with tried-and-tested eDrive technology. It converts the gaseous hydrogen contained in the storage tank into electric power and water vapor.
The vehicle’s high-voltage battery serves as an energy storage unit and can therefore be considerably smaller – with a net capacity of around one kilowatt hour – than in battery-electric concepts. Storing hydrogen in a cryogenic pressure vessel can, depending on the type of vehicle, allow an operating range comparable with that of conventional vehicles powered by combustion engines. Filling up the hydrogen storage tank takes a similar amount of time as refueling a petrol or diesel tank.
Our aim is to establish hydrogen fuel cell drive technology as an integral element of the BMW Group’s Efficient Dynamics strategy for the long term. This would create a drive system portfolio of the greatest possible variety, which can be adapted flexibly to different vehicle concepts, customer desires and legal requirements around the world:
Highly efficient combustion engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.
Intelligently controlled plug-in hybrid systems with BMW eDrive or Power eDrive technology enable low-emission electric driving very much in the BMW mould.
Locally emission-free, battery-electric vehicles with a high-voltage battery like that of the BMW i3.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) with hydrogen fuel cell technology and BMW eDrive electric drive system.
With this flexible drive system portfolio designed to provide efficient personal mobility, the BMW Group is ideally prepared for the global challenges of the medium and long term when it comes to reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The integration of the hydrogen fuel cell drive system into the demonstration vehicles presented during the BMW Group Innovation Days 2015 is all part of the testing and validation process taking place as part of the ongoing development phase. The development of a series-produced FCEV provides the opportunity to integrate the variable drive system architecture into a bespoke vehicle architecture and so provide the perfect showcase for the qualities customers will most appreciate.
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The future of cars is not yet set in stone. Electric cars are in the focus right now, but there are many open question about how scalable electric energy is for powering all cars. Hydrogen is still a very interesting source of energy that still has a fighting chance to become the energy source of the future for vehicles.