Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Nov 21

BMW Hydrogen 7 Production

Posted in Energy Industry | Energy Inventions | Future Technology | Hybrid Cars | Hydrogen Fuel | Transportation

BMW Hydrogen 7BMW has announced the start of production of the new

BMW Hydrogen 7

, the world’s first hydrogen-powered luxury saloon car. Destined to make its first public appearance on 28 November at the Los Angeles Motor Show, the Hydrogen 7 will be built in limited numbers and offered to selected users in 2007. The BMW Hydrogen 7 is based on the existing 7 Series and comes equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on liquid hydrogen or petrol. In hydrogen mode the car emits nothing more than water vapor. Powered by a 260hp 12-cylinder engine, the Hydrogen 7 accelerates from zero to 62mph in 9.5 seconds before going on to an electronically limited 143mph top speed.

YouTube: BMW Hydrogen 7

With its unique dual power engine, the driver of a Hydrogen 7 can switch quickly and conveniently from hydrogen to conventional petrol power at the press of a steering wheel-mounted button. The dual power technology means the car has a cruising range in excess of 125 miles in the hydrogen mode with a further 300 miles under petrol power. To make this possible the BMW Hydrogen 7 comes with a conventional 74-litre petrol tank and an additional hydrogen fuel tank holding up to 8kgs of liquid hydrogen. Such flexibility means the driver of a BMW Hydrogen 7 is able to use the vehicle at all times, even when the nearest hydrogen filling station is out of range.

remain exactly the same regardless of which fuel is in current use. The driver can switch between the two without any effect on driving behavior or performance. The car always gives priority to the use of hydrogen but, should this run out; it automatically switches to petrol power.

For undiluted driver enjoyment, engine power and torque in the

Hydrogen 7

Unlike many previous hydrogen concept cars showcased by rival manufacturers the BMW Hydrogen 7 heralds a milestone in the history of the car. It is a full production ready vehicle, which has met all the stringent processes and final sign-off criteria that every current BMW model undergoes. A total of 100 BMW Hydrogen 7s will be built in 2007. Details on pricing and the destinations of the 100 cars will be announced at a later date.

Why hydrogen?

The BMW Group has been committed to hydrogen technology as a means of reducing car emissions, in particular CO2 emissions, for over 20 years. When running in the hydrogen mode, the BMW Hydrogen 7 essentially emits nothing but water vapor. And, unlike fossil fuels and traditional petrol, hydrogen is available in virtually infinite supply when renewable energies such as solar, wind and wave power are used to produce the liquid hydrogen. Stored in a hi-tech tank which keeps the fuel at a pressure of 3-5 bar and a consistent temperature of -250C, liquid hydrogen offers significant advantages in energy density compared to other possible alternative fuel sources to enhance the cruising range of the car.

BMW continues to develop ultra efficient, yet very dynamic petrol engines that significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Together with clean performance diesel cars and the technologically advanced hybrid systems currently under development, the BMW Group has a clear strategy for sustainable mobility with hydrogen as the ultimate goal.

Sales success

News of the BMW Hydrogen 7 comes as sales of the ‘standard’ 7 Series continue to grow. Year-to-date figures to the end of September show a 44 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2005, with 1,969 7 Series being delivered to customers. Full year sales for 2005 were 2,017, itself a 40 per cent increase on 2004.

  • A1RB3AR

    BMW, the German car company, now has a new mission: stopping the world from pollution. They currently created the ‘BMW Hydrogen 7’. This car will be able to run on both gasoline and liquid hydrogen. This car delivers amazing horsepower and top speed without creating gas exhaust. This car can drive for 17.68 miles per gallon of hydrogen. In the gasoline mode, it drives 16.992 miles per gallon. The new hydrogen 7 concept car can travel up to 142 miles per hour. BMW also has a great technique of advertising for their Hydrogen 7. Many celebrities want to show the world that they have a ‘green thumb’ so they are endorsing BMW’s new vehicle. The celebrities will pay less than the regular person, so the car is easier to fit in their budget. The vehicle is scheduled to be released in March next year. This hydrogen car will also be equipped with a conventional petrol engine. BMW’s Hydrogen 7 is unlike other hydrogen cars because it does not used hydrogen fuel cells. The Hydrogen 7 burns liquid hydrogen directly into its modified engine. Many sources of energy can produce hydrogen, for example thermal energy, and wind energy. The downside on hydrogen cars is the fact that there aren’t many hydrogen-refueling stations in the world. Also the car is estimated to cost about two million dollars (USD).

  • Steve

    BMW just launched a community website supporting Clean Energy.
    It is probably connected to the Hydrogen7 rollout:

  • Amy

    I live in Chicago. If the only biproduct of these cars is water, what happens when temperatures reach -5, as they have been for the past few weeks? I have enough trouble starting my car in these subzero temperatures and I can’t imagine that water would make that any easier.

  • Dom

    Hey Amy, after going through a combustion engine I can’t imagine that the water coming out will be cold, it’ll probably be steam.

  • Vijaykumar M. Vimawala

    What I am not quite clear about is the price of the car now and later when in full commercial production. It would also be equally important to know the trends in the price of the new fuel, Hydrogen, even if the buyers of BMW rarely worry about such trivia.

    And how are we to maintain the Hydrogen tank temperature at virtually cryogenic -250 C ? What happens when the Hydrogen tank is full and the car is at rest in the garage for a rather long period ? What is the effect of this ultra low temperature, presumably insulated thermally, on the occupants of the car ? Mind you, thermal insulation only retards the rate of conduction/radiation of thermal transfer, but cannot in anyway STOP it for extended periods of time.

    Furthermore, now that we have eliminated the emission of undesirable exhaust gases during the “end-use” phase, how about the emissions it will produce during the “production”, storage, and distribution phases? Are’nt we simply dreaming when we say we will use non-poluting alternate sources of energy, none of which have been reduced to popular usage by even the industry, let alone the people (consumers) at large ????

    I am waiting for a complete picture before I crack open a bottle of Champagne.

  • Lance

    At least BMW is making an attempt to do something about the future… or would you rather support the gas companies that screw us over. The engine sounds very powerful and I believe Hydrogen is the future.

  • JIM

    Common sense tell anyone that this will not be a cold weather car. The water vapor would seize the engine up when the engine cooled down while parked. Also the ceramic cylinders will present maintenance nightmares. Fuel cell electric is the way to go. Check out Honda’s new FCX a real marvel and wave of the future. There are many backyard rednecks that have done what BMW has done without all the money and extreme engineering and the cars run quite well. They do not have a long life however so they use older heavy vehicles that are cheap to acquire. These cars rust and seize up if not “fogged” after every use.

  • Robert

    To get to the problem of sitting, yea that is a problem you will have around 17 hours of sit time before the hydrogen starts to boil off and you will have 10- 12 days if the car is not in use before your tank will be empty. So don’t have to worry about your fuel running out as soon as you put it in the car. As to water vapor seizing the engine it would be very hot coming out of the engine and steam coming out I can see it maybe forming ice on the tale pipe but not killing the engine yes if you stopped in very cold weather it like any car would have problems. As to saying back yard rednecks have done what BMW has done that is a gross miss calculation BMW is top class in its engineering. “How about the emissions it will produce during the “production”, storage, and distribution phases? Aren’t we simply dreaming when we say we will use non-polluting alternate sources of energy, none of which have been reduced to popular usage by even the industry, let alone the people (consumers) at large ????” I believe this has been addressed but ill say it again yes to do it by conventional means it makes more but you can get it from bio and wind and solar power. Again I would ask people to read before you flame, much like look before you jump. The main things I would concern my self with would be storage mileage, distribution (only 12 stations in the world that I know of) and safety which goes for all cars. I do hope this was not too long of a post and that I answered the questions posted clearly.

  • David Sherrod

    Good for B.M.W.! In the miles per gallon dept. why don’t you guys go to the university of Copenhagen where they have a developed a hydrogen pill and combine that into the equasion. Then make a bunch of hydrogen run water pumps, give them to the African nations and help them to get their water back on the surface so they can plant a lot of trees and change their eccology… then they can go to a system of real subsistance farming and save themselves from the awfull stagnation they are in presently. What a great P.R. coupe!…. B.M.W. AIDs AFRICAN NATIONS IN THE RECOVERY OF THEIR ECCO HEALTH AND THE GENERAL HEALTH OF THEIR ECCONOMIES, saving millions of lives from abject poverty and even starvation! The world will come and eat at your feet. and even better buy your cars.

  • Jacob

    I understand that the hydrogen is meant to protect the environment but even though it is still using gas. Don’t get me wrong, I love bmw and especially the hydrogen 7. But for the price of which will most likely be in the $100,000+ mark (or at the very least $80k) why not get a honda hybrid that gets 45mpg, and has the same amount of seats. I know it has nowhere near the same amount luxury of the bmw but for $22,000, why buy the bmw?

  • Adam

    The thing I don’t understand is why does the engine have to be so big? Don’t they realize they could get even better gas mileage if they went with a 4 or even 6 cylinder engine instead of a 12 cylinder. I guess since its BMW they have to go big or go home. But other than that I love the idea and i guess you could call me one of those rednecks who is doing this stuff in his backyard because I’ve built a Hydrogen generator. I’m still in the testing stages of it though.

  • Adam

    I would like to know what BMW has done about hydrogen embrittlement? Hydrogen as a fuel causes many problems for internal combustion engines as far as embrittling their components. Requiring full scale rebuilds every 20,000 miles or so. That could become costly very quickly. Even a BMW owner willing/able to shell out the $100,000+ for a 7 series would feel the pinch of a $10,000+ rebuild every 20,000 miles.

  • Mark

    Mistake number one that is being made is the assumption that a small vehicle that seats four or less will suit all American families and situations. That is simply not true ten or twenty percent of the car fleet is going to have to be larger than battery and fuel cell electric technology can support. It’s reasonable to assume that in five years we’ll have practical mid-size and smaller battery/fuel cell vehicles available. It’s not reasonable to assume that mini-vans and mid-size to large utility vehicles will be available in these technologies. This is where BMW’s demonstration of burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine is so valuable. These larger vehicles already on the road can be converted and production can continue of new ones. It looks like lower cost ways of producing hydrogen could be in place within a decade and show a better chance of actually happening versus ethanol.

    I’ve heard we need 40 mpg in the American car fleet by 2025. Without converting existing vehicles, I’d like to know how that can happen at a new vehicle production rate of 15 to 16 million cars a year? I’m told we 240 million vehicles in the fleet now and the earliest we could possibly have enough high mileage new cars is five years from now (good luck). That leaves ten years or 160 million cars, about 80 million cars short. Solving the green house issue and high fuel prices one new car at a time equals failure. Unless we want to subsidize new car production to get it up to about 21 million vehicles a year. By the way how much energy is spent and how much CO2 is emitted when a car is built?

  • Alex

    This car probably has a ref sized storage in the trunk. I know that it takes energy to store liquid hydrogen which requires around -250 degrees Celsius to store. That probably account in part for the $2M price tag.

    And isn’t liquid hydrogen also a scarce resource? requiring fuel to produce and store???

    Probably won’t work in the tropics or during summer as the highly volatile fuel will evaporate in minutes inside the car. I heard the tank will only last slightly more than 120 miles for a full hydrogen tank. How much is liq hydrogen per liter? 80 cents per liter? Not bad. But in my opinion, BMW produced the first hydrogen “gas guzzler.”

  • keep informed


    This is THE EQUIVALENT OF 170 LITRES OF gasoline. The new BMW can be driven 500 km on its gasoline engine and 200 km on an equal amount of liquid hydrogen.

    Michael Meurer says the hydrogen fuel tank, which takes up most of the trunk, is too bigbut BMW will continue development so it can be placed in the middle or front of the car. The hydrogen tank has passed stringent crash tests and the H-7 has safe crash certification from the European Union, Singapore and the US.

  • Karl

    Simply hydrogen is the future.

  • Albrecht

    Ok, the facts:

    Along with the global warming studies, other theories have risen. The majority of the serious founded scientific studies say that all predictions according to temperature an sea level rise, have been too conservative.
    For a man like me, a pedestrian, is obvious that interests behind the oil business bought since many years ago, all the patents of small inventors a scientists who have come to a solution regarding greenhouse gases emition and other energy concepts.
    -Why not keep on studying the hydrogen generated electricity to produce locomotive energy instead of internal combustion?
    -Is it that hard to think? To come out with a new concept of energy for our transport problems?
    The answer is very simple BUSINESS.
    -Why are there still new gas stations around the world instead of those electricity stations for all the already on the streets models?
    It takes the same or even less time to have the same engineers’ team to develop an electricity concept car, as the time and team used for this car’s development.
    The European regulation for electric cars sales, has gaps and empty issues which are beneficial for the sale of highly contaminating vehicles. For each electric car the companies have 3,5 supercredits, that is, they have permission to produce 3,5 polluting cars for each eco friendly one the build. The other problem, the car parts, mainly plastic, are oil subproducts, the tires, and the technology used for the eco friendly car production is in itself polluting.
    If there was a total and sudden change of the vehicle stock around the world would not be a matter, because would be basically the same pollution produce till now, but the final goods would be less damaging. The problem is the source used to produce the later electrical need of these cars.
    Electricity is in itself a contaminating source. Luminic contamination and heat are basically the two known polluting agents.
    It is a matter of conscience, It is a matter of humanness, if we do not understand and realize, that all the efforts, all we work for is going to kill our planet, we might not be able to see the final prototype of a BMW totally electric actioned car.

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