The BMW Hydrogen 7 – the first hydrogen-powered luxury sedan – has arrived in Los Angeles to finish a more than 6,400km cross-country journey featuring hydrogen-powered cars by the world’s leading automakers in the 2008 Hydrogen Road Tour. The purpose of the tour was to show that leading automakers and energy producers are doing their part to move away from fossil fuels to hydrogen, and showcase the cooperation among forward-thinking lawmakers, NGOs and the industry.
Logging an unprecedented “strictly hydrogen” cruising range of over 320 km, the BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel completed the two-week, 31 city US tour with outstanding reliability, leaving only a trail of potable water vapour in its tracks. The 320km cruising range is equivalent to better than 9.4L/100km. In the BMW Hydrogen 7 bi-fuel vehicle, the cruising range topped 200km. By optimizing the combustion process in the mono-fuel Hydrogen 7, BMW achieved an increase in range of over 60% over the bi-fuel Hydrogen 7.
BMW provided a fleet of four hydrogen-powered cars — two BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel vehicles that use only liquid hydrogen and two BMW Hydrogen 7 bi-fuel vehicles that can switch from hydrogen to gasoline. The four BMW vehicles along with the core BMW CleanEnergy team were on the road for the entire two-week tour.
The Hydrogen Road Tour is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy, the California Fuel Cell Partnership and the National Hydrogen Association. In addition to BMW, participants included Daimler, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Nissan, Toyota, and VW. Providing clean, domestically produced hydrogen fuel for this tour were Linde, BMW’s hydrogen fuel partner for the Tour, and Air Products.
“The miles covered on this tour are a highly valuable contribution to the nearly two million miles already logged by our global fleet of 100 BMW Hydrogen 7s. This tour has shown thousands of people that hydrogen is truly the best alternative transportation fuel, and hydrogen vehicles are approaching commercial availability. An internal combustion engine, powered by hydrogen should play an important role in the future of sustainable mobility,” said Tom Baloga, BMW Vice President of Engineering, US.
What was most noteworthy about the Hydrogen Road Tour was the partnership between the world’s leading automakers, key federal departments, influential non-governmental organizations and hydrogen fuel providers to bring the reality of practical, clean energy to our nation’s legislators and the public. The tour visited key members of Congress in their home states to allow them the opportunity to see and drive these vehicles.
BMW Hydrogen 7 was the only vehicle on the tour that stores liquid hydrogen to power an internal combustion engine. Hydrogen is one of the cleanest energy sources available. Essentially the only tailpipe emission is water vapour.
The tour fleet included the mono-fuel version of the BMW Hydrogen 7, equipped with a V12 internal combustion engine (ICE), which has been engineered to run exclusively on hydrogen. It was created to showcase the zero CO2 and low emissions potential and feasibility of a dedicated hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE).
The Hydrogen 7’s V12 mono-fuel ICE produces no CO2 and near-zero emissions, while not sacrificing performance. In fact, the tailpipe emissions are so infinitesimal they pushed the limits of current emission testing technology.
Independent authorities, including the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), have confirmed these results. ANL conducted emission tests on BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel vehicles in early March 2008 and found that not only were the emissions infinitesimally small but when running, the vehicle actually cleaned the air.
Recent studies have also confirmed the water emitted by the Hydrogen 7 is potable, i.e., safe to drink.