According to Mobile Mag, BMW is producing a hydrogen limousine to be available for sale in 2007. The limousine is a 7-series with V-12 internal combustion engine (ICE) and 235 hp so it won’t be tearing up the road with its power. The limousine is also a dual-fuel vehicle that will be able to run on either gasoline or hydrogen. The vehicles will be used in smaller fleets until BMW can determine the marketability to a larger audience.
In related news, Germany’s first public hydrogen fueling station is under construction in and is also expected to be ready in 2007. Building on the success of the hydrogen bus program at the FIFA World Cup soccer competition in Berlin in June 2006, the public hydrogen fueling station in Munich is being built in partnership between the BMW Group and Total, which refueled the Berlin buses during FIFA.
The hydrogen fueling station in Munich is different than most stations in that it is storing liquid hydrogen rather than compressed hydrogen gas. The storage tank and station is also integrated to look like a standard filling station in order to mainstream hydrogen before the public eye. Unlike most other hydrogen auto manufacturers who have been heavily developing fuel cell technology, BMW has taken an alternate stance and is developing hydrogen ICE technology using cryogenic hydrogen as fuel. BMW holds 9 international and FIA-ratified land-speed records with its BMW HR2 Record Car, which is also a dual fuel vehicle as well.
The new public hydrogen fueling stations will most likely be used by BMW’s new hydrogen limousine fleet vehicles due out next year. BMW has also stated that they are working on a consumer 7-series hydrogen sedan due out in 2008.