BMW Admits Hydrogen Isn’t Practical Fuel
BMW has been giving celebrities opportunities to drive the 7 Series-based “Hydrogen 7,” in a campaign that began with chauffeuring Brad Pitt to the Oscars in one last year, but BMW is now admitting that the Hydrogen 7 isn’t even close to reality.
In fact, they’re admitting that no production hydrogen powered car is close to reality.
According to Drive, a magazine published in Australia, Jochen Schmalholz, the head of BMW’s clean-air technology group, admits that hydrogen cars in “significant numbers” are fifteen to twenty years away. Meantime, BMW’s working on an electric car.
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But, Schmalholz doesn’t sound nearly as keen on the electric car concept as, for example, General Motors with the Chevrolet Volt. “We will only bring [the electric car to market] if it makes sense. At the moment, we are not really convinced it will work for BMW. But if t makes commercial sense and it makes sense to our customers, then we will do it.
Oddly, Schmalholz identifies the primary problem with hydrogen vehicles as distribution - exactly the same position taken by top executives at General Motors, who believe that as few as 200 hydrogen fueling stations strategically located would be able to serve over 40% of the driving population. Moreover, both GM and Honda have taken some steps toward developing home hydrogen refueling equipment, something BMW appears not to have contemplated undertaking.
Meantime, of course, General Motors appears to be getting the edge on BWM in another department: This year, participants at the Oscar ceremonies will be arriving in a fleet of GM vehicles, including E85 hybrids and the experimental hydrogen fuel cell Chevy Equinox.