PressClub USA · Article.
BMW GROUP CLEAN ENERGY: THE HYDROGEN-POWERED BMW 750hL TO APPEAR AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW.
19.04.2000 Press Release
A glimpse into BMW's future-and the future of the automobile-will appear at the New York International Auto Show.
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New York, NY, April 19, 2000...A glimpse into BMW's future-and the future of
the automobile-will appear at the New York International Auto Show. The BMW
750hL, powered by sun and water, is setting the trend for the future with the
ability to meet the strictest emissions standards in the world with this
renewable energy source. BMW will document the development status of hydrogen
engines with this luxurious long wheelbase 7 Series model.
As an additional highlight, the BMW 750hL will feature a fuel cell implemented
where BMW Group researchers consider it to be most useful: as a battery
replacement to provide vehicle electrical power. This means, for example, that
the air conditioning system can be operated without the engine running. This
will be important in climates where drivers are tempted to leave their engines
and air conditioners running in the summer even when they are not in the car.
Since hydrogen fuel is not widely available, the V12 engine of the 750hL is
configured to run on hydrogen or gasoline. Running like a normal
smooth-as-silk 12 cylinder gasoline engine, this one produces the same power of
approximately 204 horsepower from a displacement of 5.4 liters, whether using
hydrogen or gasoline. BMW Group engineers see the development opportunities
with this high-tech power-plant, which will allow it to approach the same
levels of utility as modern gasoline engines. BMW researchers have attained a
travel range of up to 250 miles on one tank of super-cooled fuel (-423o F). If
the hydrogen tank is empty far away from a hydrogen station, the driver simply
switches to gasoline operation.
The BMW 750hL and its present day gasoline model both comply with all necessary
safety requirements and international standards. The hydrogen tank was
subjected to all types of crash tests along with the vehicle, and has been
shown to be as safe as a conventional gasoline tank. Numerous safety systems
ensure that tank pressure never exceeds 59 psi. Even during a severe
collision, there is virtually no danger posed by the hydrogen tank.
The hydrogen 12-cylinder represents the fifth generation of BMW vehicles using
hydrogen engines. BMW has been working since 1978 on this
environmentally-friendly power alternative under which hydrogen is converted to
steam by combustion in a practically emission-free process. When liquid
hydrogen is produced from water by electrolysis using solar and hydroelectric
power, an ideal and absolutely environmentally friendly energy production cycle
is achieved. Since a practically inexhaustible supply of water is available on
earth, and water is converted back to water using this system, resources are
not consumed and the greenhouse effect is not impacted.
In spring 2000, BMW will build and offer a limited number of hydrogen-powered 7
Series automobiles in order to demonstrate that this advanced power concept is
ready for series production. This 750hL fleet will be utilized between Munich
and Hanover under a worldwide project for Expo2000 to demonstrate the
suitability of hydrogen power for daily use on public roads. If politics and
the petroleum industry will support the necessary service station
infrastructure for hydrogen-the most environmentally friendly of all fuels-soon
widespread use of hydrogen-powered engines will no longer be a vision of the
future, but rather a practical reality.