31 oct 22

BMW says it will have a hydrogen car available by 2030

Even before it has had chance to get off the ground, fleet electrification has hit several stumbling blocks and many fleet managers are questioning if the electric powertrain really is the best option for clean transport in the future.

However, hydrogen may be the answer and (hedging its bets somewhat) BMW has optimistically thrown its hat into the ring, saying it is confident of having a viable hydrogen model commercially available at the end of the decade.

Speaking at the launch of the Rolls Royce Spectre, reports Car Magazine South Africa, Oliver Zipse, BMW Group CEO, said that the company believes in hydrogen and emphasised that in many areas without a charging infrastructure, hydrogen is the only possibility for emissions-free car transport.

BMW has launched hydrogen cars before

In September 2022, it was announced that the German car brand had already started production of hydrogen fuel cell systems for its next-generation BMW iX5, with the first vehicles due to hit the road for testing later this year.

But die-hard car historians will know that BMW is no stranger to manufacturing and launching hydrogen cars. In 1979, it launched the 520h, a four-door passenger duel fuel vehicle that could run on either gasoline or liquid hydrogen, contained in super-insulated cryogenic tanks.

Then, between 2005 and 2007, the automaker produced and sold a limited number of the BMW Hydrogen 7. Based on the company’s traditional ICE powered BMW 7 series line. It used the same 6-litre V-12 motor but was modified to allow for the combustion of hydrogen as well as gasoline. This made it a ‘bivalent’ engine.

Rather than being an ICE, BMW’s future hydrogen models (starting with the iX5) will use fuel cell technology and hydrogen to produce electricity to power the vehicle with a total of 368bhp.

Rest-assured, we will be following developments closely.

If you haven’t already registered for the Fleet Europe Summit, 16-17th November in Dublin, now is the time to do so. Tickets are limited and selling fast.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway