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BMW Powers Hydrogen

Published September 12, 2006 in Technology
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Reuters.
BWM BMW
Though we prefer to stick with entertainment news, some updates are just way too cool to pass up.

We have always dreamed of the notion of hydrogen power -- and I am currently considering a BMW 330xi -- but the technology seemed like one of those that are always just a finger stretch beyond our grasp. Well, not anymore, at least according to BMW.


BMW to Release Hydrogen Powered Cars


Why a 330xi you ask? Well, I dig the 330i but my parents recently purchased a cabin up in Big Bear and I am going to need a car that can get me there. But where were we?

According to Reuters, BMW will roll out the world's first hydrogen-burning car in serial production early next year, the German premium automaker said on Tuesday, eager to put its stamp on cars with green credentials.

The specially equipped 7-Series executive cars emit only water vapor when running on hydrogen.

The car hits the market next April and will be shown at the Los Angeles car show in November, the company said. It had said in March the hydrogen cars would arrive within two years.

For those of you currently in the market for a new car, don't get too excited just yet. A BMW spokesman said the car would be leased to selected customers rather than sold because of its high price. Leasing rates would be similar to those for a top-end BMW 760LI with a full-service package. Top dollar gets the top technology it would seem.



Fortunately for the rest of us, BMW does plan to install the technology into their lower model cars over time.

BMW has said it intends to build a few hundred such cars at first. They will be able to switch between burning standard petrol and hydrogen so that drivers will not be left stranded while the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen is built up.

"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," BMW said.

The space that two fuel tanks take up means only the 7-Series will offer the hydrogen package at first. BMW's long-term goal is to offer hydrogen motors in all its cars.

BMW unveiled the world's fastest hydrogen-powered car at the 2004 Paris auto show. Dubbed the H2R, it can exceed 300 kilometers (185 miles) per hour and reaches 100 km per hour from a standing start in around six seconds.

Efficient and fast! BMW has yet to announce what kind of Miles Per Gallon of Water you can expect from your hydrogen engine, but we should assume something to compete with the Prius. Well, similar to the Prius but without (most) the gas.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Reuters.
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