Bmw Hydrogen 7 Invades the Streets

by : Anthony Fontanelle

Following its launch at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, a fleet of three BMW Hydrogen 7s will take part in the Revolve Brighton to London rally for low and zero-emission cars. The rally which is scheduled today will start on Madeira Drive in Brighton; the fleet of Hydrogen 7s will follow a pre-planned route ending at Trafalgar Square in London.

During the course of the event, HRH The Prince of Wales, a Government Minister, the Deputy Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron and a number of other dignitaries will be introduced to the world's first hydrogen-powered emissions-free luxury saloon car. After the rally, the BMW Hydrogen 7 will be displayed at the London Science Museum along with other history-significant vehicles.

"The use of the BMW Hydrogen 7 at the Revolve Brighton to London rally marks yet another step towards hydrogen powered cars becoming an everyday reality on the streets of this country. Zero emission motoring is no longer a dream and this car proves the technology isn't as far away as some sceptics may think," said John Hollis, the BMW Group Head of Government and Industrial Affairs.

He added, "We want to kick-start the debate about the future of personal mobility and the importance of hydrogen as the definitive fuel. The opinions of politicians and other influencers are important in driving this forward to ensure that hydrogen-power comes to fruition as soon as possible."

The BMW Hydrogen 7, which is based on the chassis of the standard 7-series, comes equipped with a bivalent internal combustion engine that is capable of running on hydrogen or gasoline. In hydrogen mode, the Hydrogen 7 emits nothing more than water vapor. Powered by a 260hp 12-cylinder engine, the saloon car accelerates from zero to 62mph in 9.5 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited 143mph top speed.

The driver can switch smoothly and quickly from hydrogen to conventional petrol power at the press of a steering wheel-mounted button with its unique dual fuel engine. 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 gasoline power. The Hydrogen 7 is equipped with a BMW heater core, 74-litregasoline tank and an extra hydrogen fuel tank holding up to eight kilograms of liquid hydrogen which is stored at -253 degrees Celsius. 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. In Wembley, a bespoke filling station has been constructed to support the automaker's plans.

Engine power and torque in the car saloon remain exactly the same notwithstanding the kind of fuel used. The driver can switch between the two without any effect on driving performance or behavior. The Hydrogen 7 always gives priority to the use of hydrogen but, should this run out; the vehicle automatically switches to gasoline power.

Unlike previous hydrogen concept cars flaunted by rival manufacturers the Hydrogen 7 is deemed a milestone in the auto history. It is a full production ready vehicle, which has met all the strict processes and final sign-off criteria that each present BMW model undergoes.

"A more efficient route for car makers would be to focus on high-mileage gasoline-powered vehicles. They are far simpler and less sexy than hydrogen cars, Mr. Talbot says, but for now they stack up as the cleaner option," the Wall Street Journal concluded.