PressClub USA · Article.
08.08.2000 Press Release
Presenting the 750hL to the public at the EXPO 2000 World Fair, BMW has launched the first production car in the world able to run on energy produced from solar power and water -- hydrogen. The engineers at BMW's Research and Development Center in Munich now wanted to demonstrate how fast this outstanding car is on the most challenging race track in the world. Therefore, they put it to the test at the northern circuit of Nuerburgring.
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Munich, Germany, August 8, 2000...It's an undeniable fact that currently a
gasoline or diesel engine is the best way to get the necessary power to the
drive wheels of a car. But it's equally undeniable that one day the world's
petroleum and natural gas resources will start to run out. And it is also a
fact that the combustion of such fuels generates carbon dioxide, which has an
uncertain effect on the climate of our world. So there is a definite need for
alternatives such as electric motors running on fuel cells or, wherever there
is a need for more dynamic performance, high-tech combustion engines running on
hydrogen without the slightest effect on the environment.
Presenting the 750hL to the public at the EXPO 2000 World Fair, BMW has
launched the first production car in the world able to run on energy from solar
power and water. And the only product that comes out of the exhaust is vapor,
that is nothing but virtually pure water. Since June 15, BMW hydrogen-powered 7
Series have been performing consistently and reliably, transporting prominent
politicians and business leaders over thousands of kilometers, and continuing
to offer this regular service as planned until the end of October. Certainly a
practical test of the highest caliber.
The engineers at BMW's FIZ Research and Development Center in Munich now wanted
to know for sure whether the hydrogen-drive BMW 7 Series could really pass the
ultimate test. Exactly how fast is this outstanding car on the most challenging
race track in the world, the northern circuit of Nürburgring? Especially as one
kilometer on Nürburgring equals 20 kilometers on normal roads, as experts say.
Alfred Hilger, one of BMW's specialist technicians for 15 years and a member of
BMW's hydrogen development team for one year, races cars himself in his free
time. Whenever he can take some time out he works on his BMW M3, which he
simply loves to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or at Nürburgring, two circuits
he knows like the palm of his hand. And, of course, he knows the BMW 750hL.
The weather gods were shining down on Alfred Hilger in summer 2000, with long
periods of rain suddenly coming to an end for the driving tests and allowing
the roads to dry up. So Hilger sets off in his usual cool, calm and collected
style. Two trial laps and then Hilger is really ready to go. Pure hydrogen gas
fills the 12 cylinders, burning in a smooth, controlled process and developing
supreme power. Exactly 9 minutes and 53 seconds later, after 22 kilometers and
precisely 192 corners, Hilger has lapped the Nürburgring at the wheel of his
BMW 750hL. At exactly 11:40 am on 28 July 2000. With zero CO2 emissions and
just a little cloud of vapor in the air. And just a little - but very satisfied
- smile on Hilger's face.
Tomorrow, the Dubai Minister of the Environment is expected to take his seat in
the BMW 750hL VIP shuttle at the EXPO 2000 World Fair in Hanover. Just another
routine mission with zero emissions.
Contact at BMW Group:
Tel: (49) 89 / 382-24697