Jorge Chapa

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: BMW Hydrogen 7

by , 09/25/07

hydrogen, hybrid, bmw, jay leno, environment, celebrity, green, car, automobile

BMW, the German car manufacturer, wants you to know that they believe hydrogen is the fuel source of the future. In order to do this, they have created the BMW Hydrogen 7, an all hydrogen powered luxury sedan that produces zero emissions. It’s serious business, or so says BMW, which is why they have enlisted the help of comedian and well known car enthusiast Jay Leno.

The Hydrogen 7 is not a concept vehicle, but an actual production model vehicle that has completed the entire product development line. It runs on a 12 cylinder, 260 horsepower engine capable of giving you a very respectable top speed of 140 miles per hour. On a full tank, you’ll be able to drive 125 miles before refueling. Naturally, as hydrogen fueling stations are a bit scarce at the moment, the Hydrogen 7 comes equipped with a separate gasoline tank just to make sure that you aren’t left stranded on the road looking for some fuel. Unlike most other hydrogen powered vehicles, BMW is choosing to take the less travelled path of using liquid hydrogen rather than hydrogen based fuel cells.

Jay Leno is joined by other car enthusiasts, celebrities and opinion makers in being the first ones to drive a Hydrogen 7. BMW hopes that, by putting these vehicles in the hands of those who shape popular culture and opinion, enough support will be created to deliver the infrastructure required for a hydrogen fuel economy.

+ BMW Hydrogen 7

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12 Comments

  1. syra November 18, 2010 at 12:08 am

    BMW Hydrogen 7 is the 7-Series Sedan model car modified for liquid hydrogen. H-7 is smooth, polished, ready for the road, and still quite spritely. Passing maneuvers and uphill on-ramps need a little more discretion than 760, because you no longer pure thrust. But the difference is not fatal. Overall, there is very little evidence that 7 is running, that wonderful rich fuel, which promises to write all the rules of transportation, economy, energy and environmental responsibility …The BMW Hydrogen 7 runs on liquid hydrogen, not gaseous hydrogen.
    http://www.carsfind.net

  2. Inhabitat » TRANS... April 8, 2008 at 5:35 am

    [...] battery power and power generated by hydrogen fuel cells, and then flew an additional 20 minutes on hydrogen power only at a speed of 62 miles per [...]

  3. cohiba January 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Present technology delivers a nett loss in energy producing Hydrogen, but methods of producing hydrogen efficiently is developing fast, because of demand for powering vehicles.
    Google H2Gen, a company that have means of extracting H2 on site, hence no transportation infrastructure, as well as hydrogen from aluminum pellets, which produces the hydrogen on board.
    Pure battery powered vehicles have other concerns, such as disposing of megatons of batteries at the end of their life cycle. Fuel cells dont deplete.
    Aim for the best possible solution, and find a way to make it viable.
    Can you even imagine the amount of extra electricity that has to be generated to replace gasoline using electric cars?
    Since renewables are not efficient enough, how many thousands of nuclear reactors has to be built?
    Imagine the increase in world hunger if we switch to biofuels.
    Hydrogen needs only a solution in terms of chemistry, and we’re good to go. Using internal combustion, we dont even have to buy new cars.

  4. Inhabitat » Algae... November 26, 2007 at 6:08 am

    [...] in the telling crop of hydrogen concepts rolling out from automakers like GM, Honda, VW, Mercedes and [...]

  5. Mikeee September 27, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Colin hit the nail on the head with regards to the conversion losses. It’s what’s always made me think Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines (H2ICE) are a failure as a means to conserve energy from end to end.

    At the same time though, Bryce’s comment reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of before regarding this type of car: namely that the lack of a huge number of poisonous Lithium* batteries would save loads of energy in the production stage and potential pollution when the car once again needs to be scrapped and thus needs energy-intensive safe disposal and recycling a second time around.

    Maybe someone with some 1337 math skillz will come along and crunch the numbers for us all and tell whether it’s more efficient to build pollution-prone batteries or just use grid power to split water for use in a common, old-fashioned, out-engineered combustion engine.

    (*or Nickel-MH? Since Lithium batteries break from being run-down while NiMHs stay healthy that way. Google Batteryuniversity)

  6. Christopher P. September 27, 2007 at 5:12 am

    Jay surely likes his toys, and won’t refuse a gift novelty! Hydrogen is not a viable fuel. It is “storage” in the sense that it costs more in sequestered fuel consumption to produce a given unit of power than one gets out. But this is true of every power conversion when analyzed “cradle to cradle” — it’s the second law of thermodynamics! Global warming is simply the “heat sink” filling up — equilibrium being reached when carbon-dioxide releasing lifeforms are choked to death on their own waste heat, and the atmosphere’s capacity to absorb heat is stablised. Even that may not be the theoretical limit, as it is possible for the sun to boil off the Earth’s atmosphere, if it can no longer reflect/irradiate enough energy back out into space — due to the loss of reflective ice or high atmosphere cloud cover (which would still capture sufficient heat under the cloud cover and in the oceans to limit viable lifeforms to the algae, bacteria and tubeworms that are found in hot springs and oceanic fumerol vents….)

  7. links for 2007-09-27 &l... September 26, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    [...] BMW Hydrogen 7 – Inhabitat BMW stay true to Brand values by solving emissions problems through cutting edge design and engineering. To me this is the unPrius(!) (tags: bmw design eco green) [...]

  8. Bryce September 26, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Though I agree with Colin, if it does ever become viable to use hydrogen, I could see a huge market opening up to retrofit existing vehicles for hydrogen use because automakers won’t immediately build fuel cell versions of every genre of vehicle, and many people will want to keep their existing vehicles for a while.

  9. Colin September 26, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Please understand, Hydrogen power is just a better “battery”. Until a sustainable way to make hydrogen is implemented, burning hydrogen is actually WAY LESS efficient than burning gas directly in your engine! You lose at least 30% of the energy in each transformation and as far as I understand the current scheme for creating hydrogen is: burn coal to make electricity, use electricity to hydrolize out hydrogen, burn hydrogen to power car. What a waste!

  10. Richie September 26, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Interesting…

    Is it true that it takes more energy to make hydrogen fuel for cars than the fuel releases as energy when made ? What about that ICE (water electrolysis motor) car that ran on just plain WATER ! That’s the deal folks. But due to an unfortunate mishap, it’s inventor, Stan Meyer was found dead in the parking lot of the restaurant he regularly frequented. Accidents will happen ! http://www.waterpoweredcar.com/stanmeyer.html

  11. Matt September 26, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I like the idea of hydrogen powered cars.

  12. btc September 25, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Yeah, even featuring BMW in eco-context is wiser than listing Moscow among top 10 places for public transit. ;-)

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