BMW Hydrogen 7 - production-ready, hydrogen-gasoline V12 Saloon

11 pictures

View gallery - 11 images

September 12, 2006 BMW has become the first auto maker to present a hydrogen-drive car which has successfully completed the process of series development: The BMW Hydrogen 7 with its hydrogen combustion engine is the result of a consistent development strategy now rendering this trendsetting concept of sustained mobility fully suitable for regular use in today’s world. The Hydrogen 7 Saloon is powered by a 191 kW twelve-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0–100 km/h in 9.5 seconds with a top speed limited electronically to 230 km/h. Ingeniously, the dual-mode power unit switches quickly and conveniently to conventional premium gasoline providing an overall range of more than 700 kilometres. The integration of hydrogen drive in an existing vehicle concept which has already proven its merits in the market paves the way for an alternative to conventional drive concepts fully accepted in the market and with all the assets the customer is looking for in practice.

The launch of BMW Hydrogen 7 is therefore a milestone en route to an era of mobility independent of fossil fuels not only for the BMW Group but also for the entire automotive and energy industry.

BMW Hydrogen 7 clearly proves, therefore, that liquid hydrogen may by all means be used as a source of energy for the production car. Indeed, introducing BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW Group is establishing powerful momentum for the ongoing development of a supply infrastructure serving above all to set up additional hydrogen filling stations providing sustained mobility on a broad basis also in future.

BMW CleanEnergy – the BMW Group’s energy strategy

The promotion and ongoing development of hydrogen technology as the appropriate type of energy for the future is an essential part of the BMW Group’s CleanEnergy strategy. In this context, BMW Hydrogen 7 serves as a pacemaker enabling all development partners participating in the concept to demonstrate the practical, everyday qualities and benefits of this jointly developed technology.

The BMW CleanEnergy concept therefore seeks to provide a drive technology which serves to fulfil current and future demand for individual mobility without the use of fossil fuels. Indeed, hydrogen technology offers the opportunity to dramatically reduce emissions generated by personal transport and, in particular, to minimise the emission of CO2: Running in the hydrogen mode, the BMW Hydrogen 7 basically emits nothing but vapour.

The vision of sustained mobility free of harmful emissions applies not only to the actual operation and use of the car, but also to the generation of drive energy: It is a well-known fact today that mankind needs alternatives to the consumption of fossil fuels limited in their availability. And contrary to such conventional fuels, hydrogen meets the requirements of the future in full both in its generation and in its sustainability, being embedded in the regenerating cycle of nature. Recovered from biomass or with the help of energy from the sun, from wind and hydro-power, hydrogen is available in virtually infinite supply. And if necessary it can also be generated with the help of natural gas, biogas, or other sources of primary energy.

As a result, the type of hydrogen recovery and production can be adjusted flexibly to current conditions and requirements, ensuring maximum diversification and facilitating the gradual substitution of fossil fuels step-by-step in the course of time.

Momentum for developing the supply infrastructure: the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) and cooperation with Total.

In developing the technical components required for using hydrogen, the BMW Group cooperates closely with specialised suppliers and partners in development. In addition, the BMW Group is a founding member of the Transport Energy Strategy (TES) and belongs to the Berlin Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) also comprising other car makers, energy supply companies, and public transport services.

CEP is part of Germany’s national strategy of sustainability, and is supported and promoted by the German Government. It was at the initiative of CEP that the first integrated hydrogen filling station was opened in Berlin, reflecting the Consortium’s objective to prove the qualities of hydrogen for everyday use in mobile applications.

To promote the use of hydrogen as a source of energy, the BMW Group has concluded an agreement with Total, the mineral oil and fuel supplier operating an integrated filling station with both conventional fuels and hydrogen in Berlin year ever since 2004. Yet another hydrogen filling station in the capital city of Germany – again as part of the CEP initiative – was then opened by Total in March 2006.

A new integrated hydrogen filling station also run by Total is to be opened in Munich at the end of 2006, marking the premiere of BMW Hydrogen 7 near the BMW Group’s Research and Innovation Centre. And last but certainly not least, the BMW Group and Total have agreed to open yet another integrated hydrogen filling station in a further large city in Europe.

Benefiting from experience already gained in practice, the process of filling up the hydrogen tank is now quite similar to the process of filling up a conventional tank under regular conditions at a gasoline or diesel fuel pump: As soon as the driver has manually connected the tank coupling to the fuel tank filler cap on the car, the entire process of filling up the tank is fully automatic.

BMW – the forerunner and leader in hydrogen drive technology

As a particularly innovative, strategically oriented car maker, BMW was very quick to assume responsibility for the promotion and introduction of sustained mobility concepts. Reflecting the Company’s traditional core competence in drivetrain technology, BMW started as early as in 1978 to conduct research on the hydrogen power unit, consistently developing and upgrading this technology with several generations of hydrogen cars in the years to come.

In the year 2000 BMW became the first car maker in the world to present a demonstration fleet of hydrogen-drive cars at the Expo 2000 World Fair in Hanover, Germany. In the meantime the BMW 750hL hydrogen car has proven its merits under practical testing conditions, clearly and impressively confirming the feasibility of this technology. And on the CleanEnergy World Tour, finally, the BMW Group was once again able to gain significant international attention on hydrogen technology and its great potential.

The world’s first public hydrogen filling station was opened at Munich Airport in the year 2000, again making a significant contribution in testing and improving the everyday qualities of this innovative drive technology. Indeed, the experience already gained at the time by the BMW Group and other car makers, fuel supply companies and the operators of the filling station at Munich Airport has significantly influenced and promoted ongoing development within the CEP imitative.

This experience has also been used, inter alia, in the concept of the hydrogen filling stations now operating in Berlin, where BMW Group test cars have been filled with hydrogen regularly ever since. Operation of the world’s first public hydrogen filling station will be ending in 2006 when it is replaced by the new integrated filling station in Munich.

BMW Hydrogen 7

Launching BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW Group is opening up a new era for the development of automobiles with alternative drive technologies: BMW Hydrogen 7 is not the result of a research project, but has rather successfully completed the entire Product Development Process (PDP) obligatory for all new BMWs.

In this process all components of the new technology were integrated into the overall vehicle according to the same criteria applied to “regular” production cars. Hence, BMW Hydrogen 7 has reached a level of development significantly beyond the status of all hydrogen prototypes and demonstration cars built so far and allowing homologation under the usual rules and standards in both Germany and the ECE.

The knowledge gained in the Product Development Process has not only made a decisive contribution to the everyday driving qualities of the BMW Hydrogen 7, but has also had a positive effect on the features and qualities of all individual components. In the Product Development Process each and every component as well as the overall vehicle is analysed and checked to the smallest detail, determining whether it meets the requirements of series production.

Representing firm features in the Product Development Process, the individual process steps in Development, Testing, Clearance and Signing-Off guarantee the high standards demanded of a BMW Group vehicle. Naturally, the process takes all criteria relevant to the customer into account in order to verify that the new product is ready for the market in every respect. For only then are the conditions fulfilled for presenting the customer – as with all other BMW models – with the world’s first luxury saloon running with a hydrogen combustion engine.

Entering the market as the first hydrogen car for everyday use, the BMW Hydrogen 7 is a milestone – and at the same time it introduces a new era in car production. The knowledge gained in developing the car will have a significant influence on the development and production of future hydrogen car concepts, with the principle of dual-mode drive as well as the features of other components now going through the strict test of everyday driving practice.

Liquid hydrogen – the energy of the future

Ever since the start of research and development in this area, the BMW Group has given preference to the use of liquid hydrogen as the appropriate source of energy for the automobile. Compared with gaseous and highly compressed hydrogen, liquid, cryogenic hydrogen offers much higher energy density.

And comparing the amount of energy stored in a tank of the same size as cryogenic, liquid hydrogen as opposed to a car tank with gaseous hydrogen compressed to 700 bar, we see that liquid hydrogen has the advantage of offering 75 per cent more energy. Clearly, therefore, a vehicle running on liquid hydrogen has a correspondingly longer cruising range with all the practical benefits involved.

Dual-mode combustion engine for enhanced flexibility. In judging the everyday qualities of a new drive concept, the practical cruising range offered by a car is one of the most important criteria. But apart from consumption figures and the tank capacity in a car, we must also consider the existing fuel supply infrastructure.

Right now there is not yet a full network of hydrogen filling stations. Hence, vehicles running on hydrogen alone can only be used within certain limits on public roads and do not offer the flexibility naturally expected by the customer.

Precisely this is why the BMW Group, introducing the world’s first hydrogen car for everyday use, is opting for dual-mode drive technology, with the combustion engine of BMW Hydrogen 7 being able to run on both hydrogen and gasoline.

The cruising range of the car in the hydrogen mode is more than 200 kilometres, with another 500 kilometres in the gasoline mode. As a result, the driver of a BMW Hydrogen 7 benefits from virtually unlimited mobility and is able to use his vehicle without problems even when far away from the nearest hydrogen filling station.

Dual-mode drive technology

The prerequisite for permanent use of hydrogen as a source of energy is a closely-knit network of hydrogen filling stations. On the other hand there will only be an incentive to build additional filling stations when a significant potential for vehicles with hydrogen drive is obviously developing in the market.

Precisely this is why BMW Hydrogen 7 is destined to become a pacemaker for progress on both levels. It now generates the momentum required for expanding the right fuel supply infrastructure, ultimately benefiting those car makers focusing exclusively on single-mode hydrogen technology. For once the number of hydrogen filling stations increases accordingly, these vehicles will also become more attractive, single-mode hydrogen vehicles then offering the same everyday driving qualities and practical benefits that BMW Hydrogen 7 is already able to prove today.

Opting for this dual-mode drive concept, the BMW Group is consciously acting as a pacemaker. Indeed, this commitment to set standards not only to the benefit of BMW’s own customers, but also to the advantage of an entire world of technology, is part of the responsibility the BMW Group is happy to assume in our modern world.

Fuel cell technology BMW style: the APU Despite this clear focus on hydrogen technology, the BMW Group is also working consistently on the fuel cell to ensure practical use of this technology also in the automobile. The long-term objective is to use the fuel cell as an auxiliary power unit (APU) both in the hydrogen and gasoline car, the APU serving to supply electric power for the on-board network both while driving and at a standstill.

V12 power unit

Under current conditions, dual-mode drive is indeed the only really practical solution in giving hydrogen the breakthrough it deserves. And at the same time the combustion engine featured in BMW Hydrogen 7 is excellently suited for arousing widespread acceptance of this new technology.

Particularly in comparison with the fuel cell, the power unit featured by BMW develops much more engine power, the V12 driving BMW Hydrogen 7 combining dynamic performance, superior comfort and enhanced safety in a manner typical of all BMWs, regardless of the type of fuel or engine technology.

Displacing 6.0 litres, the power unit develops maximum output of 191 kW. Maximum torque, in turn, is 390 Newton-metres at an engine speed of 4,300 rpm. This enables BMW Hydrogen 7 to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds and gives the car an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h, both on hydrogen and gasoline.

Right from the start, therefore, this alternative energy technology brand-new in a series production car is absolutely equal to the gasoline engine with its history of more than 100 years. So the conclusion is clear: A hydrogen car is also able to offer power, performance, driving dynamics, motoring refinement and, as a result, sheer driving pleasure of the supreme standard expected of a genuine BMW.

Apart from the driving experience, the twelve-cylinder power unit carried over from the BMW 760i as the basis for the engine in BMW Hydrogen 7 offers further benefits highly relevant to the customer. Indeed, the engine comes with all the qualities gained by BMW in decades of experience in the production of particularly powerful and efficient power plants, which also means the supreme reliability so typical of a BMW.

Compared with a fuel cell hardly able to offer the same kind of power, the combustion engine is far lighter right from the start. A further point is that use of a combustion engine also means lower cost of production, with BMW Hydrogen 7 not only having gone through the BMW Group’s entire process of series development, but also being fully integrated in the conventional production process even as a hydrogen car: The new hydrogen model is built at BMW’s Dingolfing Plant parallel to the other models in the BMW 7, 6 and 5 Series, with the drive unit in BMW Hydrogen 7 coming like all BMW twelve-cylinders from the Company’s engine production plant in Munich.

Direct gasoline injection and hydrogen intake manifold supply

The hydrogen combustion engine is based on the gasoline power unit featured in the BMW 760i, offering the most advanced and sophisticated highlights in technology such as fully variable VALVETRONIC valve management and variable double-VANOS camshaft control. Further confirmation of the engineering skills of BMW’s engine development specialists is borne out by the modifications required for dual-mode drive, with fuel being supplied in the gasoline mode through direct injection and with a hydrogen supply pipe integrated in the engine’s intake system.

The key technology is the injection valves required to provide the appropriate fuel/air mixture, blowing exactly the right amount of hydrogen gas into the intake air within fractions of a second.

Burning up to ten times faster than conventional fuel, hydrogen offers a higher level of efficiency. To make use of this potential in full, the V12 power unit in BMW Hydrogen 7 requires particularly flexible engine management ensured ideally by VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS, where both the gas cycle and injection rhythm can be perfectly tailored to the specific features and characteristics of the hydrogen/air mixture.

Minimisation of nitric oxides

Under full load the power unit in BMW Hydrogen 7 runs under stochiometric conditions, meaning a complete balance of oxygen and hydrogen (lambda = 1). This mixture ratio also provides the highest level of performance and output on low emissions in the hydrogen mode.

With hydrogen, contrary to fossil fuel, not containing any carbon, the combustion of hydrogen generates neither hydrocarbons (HC) nor carbon monoxide (CO). If at all, minute traces of HC, CO, and CO2 emissions will be generated by the combustion of lubricant and by rinsing the activated carbon filter while running in the hydrogen mode.

The only relevant factor, therefore, is the emission of nitric oxides (NOX) generated above all at particularly high combustion temperatures. Highly flexible combustion management, however, allows an operating strategy able to largely control the formation of NOX. In practice, this means that the engine is run under part load with a high share of oxygen and, accordingly, a high lambda factor of more than 2.

In this case the temperatures in the combustion process are relatively low, keeping NOX emissions to an absolute minimum.

Such a lean burn mode can be maintained throughout a particularly wide range of operation in the engine control map. And since hydrogen offers particularly broad ignition limits and burns at a fast rate, only a small amount of fuel is required in the mixture to generate a high level of efficiency.

To boost engine output, the share of fuel in the fuel/air mixture is also increased in the hydrogen mode. This, in turn, means an increase in combustion temperatures under higher load. With the fuel/air mixture range creating the maximum amount of nitric oxide lying between lambda = 1 and lambda = 2, the engine management of BMW Hydrogen 7 cancels out this operating range with its negative effects on emission management without any reduction or change in torque.

NOX emissions are almost completely avoided under full load with a lambda factor of 1. To convert the minimum amounts of NOX still remaining under these operating conditions, all the engine needs is a regular three-way catalyst system, the specific composition of exhaust gases in a hydrogen combustion engine running under stochiometric conditions (lambda = 1) promoting the conversion of nitric oxides possibly contained in the exhaust emissions by way of the three-way catalyst. In practice, therefore, the drive unit featured in BMW Hydrogen 7 offers the same dynamic performance in the hydrogen mode as when running on gasoline, while emitting nothing but vapour in the process.

Development in record time: BMW H2R

The power, performance and the liability of the engine concept were all impressively proven during the development phase, with the BMW H2R World Speed Record Hydrogen Car clearly proving the exceptional potential of this technology on a race track as early as in September 2004: Raced on the high speed track in the French town of Miramas, H2R broke no less than nine international records for hydrogen drive cars with a combustion engine, the test car powered by a 6.0-litre V12 hydrogen combustion engine achieving a top speed of more than 300 km/h and setting up new records for the distance of one kilometre with a flying start and the quarter-mile with a standing start. Acceleration from 0–100 km/, in turn, came in just 6 seconds.

Hydrogen tank: compact instead of all-round insulation

The dual-mode drive concept of BMW Hydrogen 7 requires not only suitable engine management and fuel supply, but also proper integration of two separate fuel tanks: To offer the longest conceivable cruising range, BMW Hydrogen 7 comes with both a conventional 74-litre gasoline tank and an additional fuel tank taking up approximately 8 kilos of liquid hydrogen.

This hydrogen tank is a key component of the hydrogen car, with the BMW Group being supported in the implementation of hydrogen technology in the automobile by Magna Steyr as an important partner in development.

The hydrogen tank is made up of a double-wall tank structure consisting of two-millimetre-thick stainless steel plates and featuring a 30-millimetre-thick vacuum super-insulation layer between the inner and outer tank.

This configuration reduces heat transfer to a minimum, the interim layer offering the same insulating effect as approximately 17 metres or 56 feet of styropor. The connection pieces between the inner and outer tanks, in turn, are made of carbon-fibre bands reducing the conduction of heat to a minimum.

The insulation technology developed for the hydrogen tank in BMW Hydrogen 7 ensures a standard of temperature consistency never seen before in practice. A simple example is that if a tank of this kind were filled, say, with boiling coffee, the coffee would remain hot for more than 80 days before cooling down to a temperature suitable for drinking.

A consistently cold temperature is maintained in exactly the same way with the same supreme effect: Highly effective insulation serves to keep liquid hydrogen at a pressure of 3–5 bar and at a consistent temperature of approximately – 250 °C over a long period. The infusion of heat causing hydrogen to evaporate is very small indeed, and any loss of hydrogen resulting from the increase in pressure caused by higher temperatures is controlled with maximum efficiency by boil-off management limiting the inner pressure within the tank and ensuring controlled purge of hydrogen already evaporated.

Gaseous hydrogen able to escape in this way is diluted in a venturi pipe and oxidated in a catalyst to form vapour. The period in which a half-full hydrogen tank will be emptied completely in a controlled process is about 9 days, and even then the car is still able to cover approximately 20 kilometres or 12 miles in the hydrogen mode with the fuel remaining in the tank.

While driving, defined conversion of liquid into gaseous hydrogen forms a permanent, ongoing process, with hydrogen being removed from the tank in gaseous condition and fed to the fuel mixing and supply system. Precisely for this reason liquid hydrogen is evaporated in a specific, controlled process within the tan, building up a gas “cushion” under defined pressure.

Gaseous hydrogen extracted from the tank has to be warmed up for the subsequent fuel mixing process, using heat from the engine’s coolant circuit for this purpose. This heat is generated by a system of two interacting heat exchangers, the heat exchanger in the so-called secondary system capsule (SSC) receiving its heat from the engine’s cooling circuit and delivering this heat, first, via the second heat exchanger to the hydrogen tank and, second, to the hydrogen itself warmed up for the subsequent fuel mixing process.

Filling the tank in a process standardised worldwide

After manually connecting the tank pump coupling, the hydrogen tank is filled up automatically without any intervention on the part of the driver. So all the driver has to do is open the tank filler flap by pressing a button in the cockpit. Then he connects the tank filling coupling to the fuel tank cap simply by interlinking the two components with one another, the subsequent process of filling up the tank being completed automatically in about eight minutes.

BMW’s engineers have developed a standardised tank coupling for all liquid hydrogen filling stations the world over. This tank filler has been engineered in close cooperation between car makers, fuel supply companies, and the German company Linde with the technical know-how required for the generation, distribution and use of hydrogen.

The European automotive industry was represented in this joint development by the BMW Group, ensuring a worldwide technical standard for liquid hydrogen filling systems.

Gasoline is filled into BMW Hydrogen 7 in the same way as on a conventional car, and the twelve-cylinder power unit is configured for premium plus fuel.

The driver can check the fuel level and the remaining range on both fuel systems simply by pressing a button in the direction indicator lever, the levels measured then being shown in the cockpit display beneath the speedometer.

The driver is able to switch from hydrogen to gasoline manually by way of a separate button in the multifunction steering wheel – and with both engine power and torque remaining exactly the same regardless of the mode of operation, switching over from one mode to another has no effect on the driving behaviour and performance of BMW Hydrogen 7.

While driving in the hydrogen mode, the display presents not the outside temperature and the time of day, but rather the chemical symbol for molecular hydrogen: H2, thus showing the driver quite clearly that the car is currently running on hydrogen fuel.

The operation control system in BMW Hydrogen 7 gives priority to the use of hydrogen, with the engine always starting in the hydrogen mode in order to minimise CO and HC emissions during the warm-up phase until the catalyst has reached its normal operating temperature.

This configuration serves to further improve exhaust emissions to an even higher standard. And should one of the two types of fuel be fully consumed, the system will automatically switch over to the other type of fuel in the interest of secure, ongoing supply.

Modified where necessary: chassis, suspension, and body

BMW Hydrogen 7 comes as standard on 8J x 18 light-alloy wheels and is available as an option with 19-inch light-alloy wheels including a BMW Mobility Set.

All 18-inch tyres, whether summer or winter, are failsafe tyres. This means that the driver can go on even under complete loss of tyres pressure, driving to the nearest workshop without any hassle.

Yet a further feature is that a new generation of the TPC Tyre Pressure Control system permanently monitors the car’s wheels. Integrated in the valves of all four wheels, the TPC sensors register even minor deviations from the ideal tyre pressure, thus recognising the risk of a flat in good time even with only a gradual loss of pressure.

Accommodation of additional components in the rear end of the car called for re-alignment of the suspension and damping systems in BMW Hydrogen 7. So despite the higher load on the rear axle, both driving stability and motoring comfort remain at an optimum standard. And yet a further feature is BMW’s electronic AdaptiveDrive anti-roll stability system with continuously adjustable dampers featured as standard in BMW Hydrogen 7 and naturally specially tailored to the car.

The bodyshell of BMW Hydrogen 7 has likewise been modified exactly where required in order to set off the increase in weight resulting from this new drive technology and at the same time fulfil all demands in terms of passive safety. Use of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP), for example, ensures an even higher level of crash strength and safety with only a minimum increase in weight.

Focusing especially on BMW Hydrogen 7, BMW’s engineers have furthermore developed an innovative combined CFP/steel body structure, with the sideframes right and left being reinforced all round by CFP in order to give the bodyshell additional strength and stiffness.

A particular feature of the car truly catching the eye from the very beginning is the engine compartment lid characterised in its contours by a distinctive powerdome. This change in design is indeed essential due to the greater height of the engine compared with a conventional twelve-cylinder – and at the same time it is a clear indication of the unique power unit beneath the engine lid. Luxury class comfort for four

Given the position of the hydrogen tank beneath the parcel shelf and behind the rear seats, BMW Hydrogen 7 had to be modified at the rear, with luggage compartment capacity being reduced in the process to 225 litres. And on account of the car’s overall package, the centre armrest is fitted firmly at the rear.

Precisely this is why BMW Hydrogen 7 is conceived as a four-seater, the two passengers at the rear enjoying the same high standard of grand touring comfort in the world’s first hydrogen car developed for everyday use as in one of BMW’s “regular” luxury performance saloons.

The rear seat bench, for example, is positioned approximately 115 millimetres further to the front than in the long-wheelbase version of the BMW 7 Series running exclusively on gasoline, but is still about 25 millimetres further to the rear than in the standard-wheelbase saloon. As a result, legroom is as generous as one would expect in a car of this class also in BMW Hydrogen 7.

This particular touch of comfort, class and style is also underlined by the car’s unusually wide range of standard features: Over and above the high level of equipment featured from the start in the BMW 760i, BMW Hydrogen 7 comes with climate comfort composite glazing, BMW’s high-end automatic air conditioning, auxiliary heating, electric seat heating for the driver, front passenger and rear seats, lumbar supports, electric seat adjustment with memory function on the front seats, ISOFIX child seat fastenings, Park Distance Control, a rain sensor, exterior and interior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle, Soft Close Automatic for the doors, and a headlight assistant.

A particular sign of distinction is the imprint “BMW Hydrogen Power” on the sunblinds on the rear side windows, with the same message being proudly presented in the illuminated door entry strips.

BMW’s navigation system Professional, the HiFi system Professional complete with a CD changer, as well as a rear monitor with a DVD changer and TV function with DVB-T reception and a separate telephone at the rear all ensure maximum grand touring comfort.

Yet a further highlight of BMW Hydrogen 7 is the BMW Assist telematics service and the Teleservice preparation kit. Then of course there are further highly convenient features such as Comfort Access, a heated steering wheel, Active Seats at the front, Comfort Seats at the front, active seat ventilation at the front, BMW Night Vision, Adaptive Headlights as well as voice recognition for controlling the navigation system, telephone and audio system also in BMW Hydrogen 7. And last but certainly not least, BMW Online also provides access to special BMW Hydrogen information pages.

Progress without compromises

BMW Hydrogen 7 clearly contradicts the assumption that changing over to an alternative form of energy means missing out on superior driving dynamics and motoring comfort.

On the contrary: Neither in its exterior looks nor in its driving behaviour does BMW Hydrogen 7 resemble any of the cars presented so far in the general context of innovative drive technologies. Accordingly, this departure from fossil fuel does not in any way mean giving up the dynamics and performance so typical of a BMW. Rather, mobility of tomorrow and driving pleasure of today are by all means compatible, with the drive concept of BMW Hydrogen 7 being directly transferable also to future models. So driving a car of this calibre will be just as thrilling in future as it is today, but at the same time cleaner than ever before.

Experiencing the future in BMW Hydrogen 7

Driving a BMW Hydrogen 7 means more than “just” experiencing the dynamic performance and supreme comfort of an exceptional luxury performance saloon. For the discerning individual driving the first hydrogen car in the world developed for everyday use will at the same time be enjoying a truly exceptional pioneering experience. Indeed, such a first-hand experience of a breakthrough into a new age of individual mobility also means contributing to this development through one’s own expertise and probing mind. Precisely this is why every user of a BMW Hydrogen 7 is in exceptionally close touch with the engineers of the BMW Group involved in developing the car and its technology, allowing direct answers to all questions possibly arising in the everyday use of such a brand-new technology. And of course this also means that BMW Group specialists receive ongoing and direct feedback on the everyday experience of “regular” motorists with the world’s first hydrogen car driven under regular conditions on the road.

There can be no doubt that the launch of BMW Hydrogen 7 also marks the beginning of an important test period. For despite the most intense testing, certain knowledge and findings can still only be obtained under practical driving conditions, particularly the “usability” of specific components in everyday motoring. After all, BMW Hydrogen 7 differs in numerous details and functions from a BMW 7 Series with a conventional gasoline engine.

Launching BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW Group seeks not only a close dialogue, but also close cooperation with its customers: To establish hydrogen as a sustained alternative to fossil energy for individual mobility, ongoing development of technological potentials must be conducted in parallel to a close, direct and intense focus on the demands and interests of the car’s users.

Ultimately, therefore, this breakthrough into a new era of mobility is a challenge to all groups involved in this process. And the signal the BMW Group is sending out through the introduction of BMW Hydrogen 7 is directed not only to the network partners involved in politics, science and the energy industry, but also to an open-minded clientele highly sensitive to trendsetting innovations in the world of mobility.

View gallery - 11 images

Top stories

Recommended for you

Popular automotive pictures

Latest in Automotive

Editors Choice