Currently reading: BMW's hydrogen tech cuts
Focus on hybrid and battery investment instead

BMW is cutting back on its hydrogen car development, putting its resources into hybrid and battery technology instead.

However, a spokesman for the company denied BMW was stopping development on hydrogen power altogether, saying: "With a set number of engineers, it's natural to transfer resources to the areas that are of most immediate concern.

"In the mid-term that means hybrid and battery technology, but we will still be involved in developing hydrogen as a source of power in the longer term."

BMW's hydrogen development is best known for creating the Hydrogen 7 car, which is based on the 760Li, and used the same six-litre V12 engine, modified to combust hydrogen as well as hydrogen.

The project stood out from those being pursued by other manufacturers as it directly ignited the hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, rather than using fuel cell technology. Drivers could switch between the two fuels at the touch of a button.

The car was only produced in limited numbers, and then leased out to high-profile figures in the hope that it would influence the development of hydrogen technology.

However, the BMW Hydrogen 7 was criticised for managing only 20.3mpg in petrol mode and 5.6mpg in hydrogen mode. Storing the hydrogen was also a problem, as it could not be exposed to extreme temperatures, and vapourised over time.

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Widescreen 14 December 2009

Re: BMW's hydrogen tech cuts

The future is not hybrids, well its hybrids for large vehicles; the future as that North said and CapsLock and i will also say is a few mild hybrids but massive amounts of electric (miti, leaf, tesla s etc) and range extenders (chevy volt).

This is a climb down by BMW in every sense of the word.

Richard H 14 December 2009

Re: BMW's hydrogen tech cuts

That's a shame

Loooks like we're destined to drive hybrids :-(