The BMW Hydrogen 7 will be one of the world’s first premium vehicles with a “bi-fueled” drive concept. It has a V-12 engine that can be powered by hydrogen or by gasoline. This means that even with the still insufficient hydrogen infrastructure, this car provides the expected performance of a BMW for everyday use. The BMW Hydrogen 7 is currently under development and when complete, it will be practically emission-free.
The BMW Clean Energy hydrogen initiative aims to avoid carbon dioxide emissions by changing from carbon dioxide-based fuel, such as gasoline and diesel, to hydrogen. The prospect of generating regenerative hydrogen is a contribution towards sustaining individual mobility for the future. The combination of a combustion engine and liquid hydrogen is superior to other concepts in terms of production costs and customer values such as driving dynamics, reliability, and cruising range.
Unlike finite fossil energy sources, hydrogen can be generated in unlimited amounts from renewable energy sources such as solar, water, wind, or biomass. BMW is focusing on the hydrogen-powered combustion engine. The speed record of 300 km/hr by the hydrogen powered BMW vehicle demonstrated the technical potential of this engine concept. The combustion engine can convert energy with hydrogen or with gasoline and therefore, serves as a bridge technology.
The limited number of serial vehicles coincides with the limited number of filling stations for hydrogen. Due to the small amounts of hydrogen needed, hydrogen is converted from conventional energy sources. However, implementing hydrogen engines in serial vehicles creates the demand for a hydrogen supply infrastructure, which in turn creates the demand for hydrogen powered cars. Here, the BMW CleanEnergy initiative is a driving force towards using new energy sources.
The BMW Hydrogen 7 corresponds with the current BMW 7. This concept is based on tested and proven technology. The variable suction valve hub and the adjustable inlet or outlet cam shafts on both engine blocks allow unthrottled “valvetronic” load control. When running on gasoline the engine uses direct injection and when running on hydrogen the car uses an external carburetor. In the hydrogen operating mode the engine develops 191 kW and a maximum torque of 390 Nm.
Hydrogen, which is highly volatile at normal temperatures, is stored in liquid form in a tank at -250° C in order to achieve a sufficient energy density and cruising range. The hydrogen tank is constructed as a “cryo container” and its super insulation properties correspond to a 17-m thick Styrofoam wall. On its way to the injection valves, the hydrogen becomes gaseous in a warming process. A 168 liter tank can store 8 kg of liquid hydrogen that has the energy capacity of 30 liters of gasoline. A hydrogen driven vehicle has a cruising range of 200 km and an additional 500 km can be covered when the car is operated with gasoline.
Filed Under: Automotive, Energy management + harvesting, Green engineering, Motion control • motor controls