BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will begin testing in the near future - but advances in battery technology may mean that they never reach production, according to the firm’s sales and marketing boss, Ian Robertson.
The firm has previously run a trial with hydrogen-powered vehicles; starting in 2007, it put 100 6.9-litre V12-engined 7-series on the road capable of running on petrol or hydrogen. Developing 256bhp and 290lb ft, the cars hit 62mph in 9.5sec.
The new generation of test cars are currently under development, with the technology being co-developed with Toyota. In particular, packaging of the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage are said to have advanced significantly in recent years.
“We’ve said we’ll continue to invest in hydrogen and that will result in a small number of production test vehicles being made to prove the technology works,” said Robertson. “The real issues lie not around what we can do, though, but whether the infrastructure can be built up to supply hydrogen in the marketplace cost-effectively.”