BMW says “For X5 or X7 fuel cell is a good solution”

Interesting | November 3rd, 2015 by 11
BMW 5 series gt hydrogen fuel cell images 08 750x500

Klaus Fröhlich – BMW’s R&D Chief – spoke with EngineeringNews about the future of the car industry and the future of electric vehicles and fuel …

Klaus Fröhlich – BMW’s R&D Chief – spoke with EngineeringNews about the future of the car industry and the future of electric vehicles and fuel cell-powered cars.

Fröhlich believes the world is likely to have an electric vehicle (EV) population of around 10% in the next ten years, but within the next half century, most drivers will be behind the wheel of an electric vehicle. And while most people will drive an EV, there will be decent sized group driving a fuel-cell hydrogen powered larger car.

bmw x7 rendering2 750x500

Rendering

BMW invited us this past July to see what the future of long-distance emission free mobility would look like. While in Miramas, France, we’ve had the chance to drive a 5 Series GT prototype powered by a fuel-cell hydrogen powertrain.

At the event, BMW emphasized that pure battery-powered electric vehicles are primarily used for city driving and short distances, while the fuel cell technology provides the ideal solution for customers looking for a high driving range with zero emissions. The technology is also aimed at cars larger in size, like those 5 Series and above models.

Now Fröhlich confirms that BMW is seriously thinking about fuel-cell hydrogen cars.

“For bigger cars, such as the X5 or X7, in environments where you need more range, a combination with a fuel cell is a good solution.

The first generation BMW X7 is expected to launch in 2017 while the first fuel-cell hydrogen car won’t arrive until at least 2020.

11 responses to “BMW says “For X5 or X7 fuel cell is a good solution””

  1. Matt Stokes says:

    I can see these being about as popular as the Hydrogen7’s were… or maybe the ActiveHybrid models.

  2. CDspeed says:

    So Tesla and Audi can build electric SUVs but BMW can’t? Was BMW i a joke all this time, I’m starting to feel duped by BMW, they get i customers hooked on electric cars only to loose interest a short time later, and send us back to the gas station by 2020. No thanks.

    • Martin says:

      Omg stop crying all time. I cant read your comments. You always have a problem. I more prefer gas (or hydrogen) station where i max 5 minutes to refuel my car than 6 hours home charging. Maybe BMW see that electric cars without subsidies cannot find buyers and BMW see that more and more governments resign from subsidy electric cars and fuel cell will be the best way ;) ? http://watchdog.org/244308/subsidies-electric-car/

      • CDspeed says:

        No I don’t “always have a problem”, your a troll without a real Disqus account that jumps only on the comments I make that sound like complaints. Hydrogen actually takes 20 minutes to pump, and do you really want to keep taking side trips for fuel? My i3 has never taken more the two and a half hours to charge if it even needs that, and you don’t notice how long it takes, it’s usually charging while your not using it. Plus people like you look at current battery tech and make your comments without taking future advancements into account, you don’t really expect that BEVs will stay as they are and never advance? And are you even aware of DC quick charging, or do you ignore that because it proves your 6 hour line wrong? And lastly, subsidies don’t really matter, and they’ll matter even less as costs continue to drop taking the base prices down with them. You like the subsidy angle simply because it makes things look bad for the electric car.

        • Matt Stokes says:

          Out of interest, why does hydrogen take so long to pump? I had an LPG E34 for a while, that took no longer than petrol did (although the flow rate seemed to vary quite a bit from one pump to the next).

          Also, don’t forget that advances in battery tech will benefit FCEVs as well as BEVs. Alongside the 5 years development time BMW still have before they plan to put an FCEV on the market, it’s fair to say that FCEV’s will not stay as they are, and will advance too.

        • Martin says:

          I’m troll because i dont have Disquis account? Omg… what a stupid logic…… so you are troll because you dont have Audi RS7 lol…

          “Hydrogen actually takes 20 minutes to pump” – maybe yes but you say “Plus people like you look at current battery tech and make your comments without taking future advancements into account” so in the future hydrogen can take less time, and with better battery i can drive more on one refuel.
          “My i3 has never taken more the two and a half hours to charge” – if you drive max 5 miles daily.
          “And lastly, subsidies don’t really matter, and they’ll matter even less
          as costs continue to drop taking the base prices down with them” – really? you see my link from previous comment? or this: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-29/teslas-hit-by-180-tax-in-denmark-as-green-goals-get-left-behind really subisdy dont matter?
          “You like the subsidy angle simply because it makes things look bad for the electric car.” – no, I like subsidy angle because BMW, Mercedes and many others companies dont need my money from taxes to find buyers.

  3. iDriver says:

    The title of the article (quote from Klaus Froehlich) is actually misleading. In reality, hydrogen fuel cells are ONLY a solution for very big cars like a X7. That is because the entire set-up (adding a fuel cell stack and several hydrogen tanks to a battery and electric motor set-up) requires a lot of useless space to fill without reducing interior or trunk space. Especially the cylindric hydrogen tanks take up a lot of volume in a way that disturbs the interior and/or the trunk. Just look at the Mirai and Honda FCV – quite long cars but still limited trunk space. And still real life range of about 400-450 km based on road tests with the Mirai, if hydrogen is put in at 700 bar, otherwise only half the range at 350 bar. That is in both cases inferior to best in class EVs like Tesla and upcoming models from Audi and Mercedes.
    Nissan has just shown to journalists how their new 60 kWh battery pack (from the IDS concept in Tokyo) fits in the same space as the current 24 kWh pack from the Leaf. This will be ready for Nissan cars in 2017/18. That also means 60 kWh can be put in about the same space as the BMW i3 battery. So imagine what battery could soon be packed in an electric BMW X5 or X7 – no need for hydrogen fuel cells. Within the next 5 years other car manufacturers (incl. Audi, Merc, Volvo, GM, Tesla etc.) will have presented series production models with 200-400 miles of EV range, making hydrogen obsolete for passenger cars. Hydrogen cannot make the same progress as storing the hydrogen has specific chemical/pressure restrictions that are inherent to hydrogen. Unlike battery chemistry and energy density, which is changing at a very fast pace. And then we don’t even mention the fundamental cost disadvantages (compared with BEVs) of fuel cell cars, from a production cost, fuel cost and fuelling infrastructure cost perspective. But all of that seems to be conveniently left out in the “BMW planning hydrogen cars” articles of lately.

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