BMW launches hydrogen-powered 7 series

BMW launches hydrogen-powered 7 series

While other car manufacturers research powering electric cars with hydrogen fuel cells, BMW recently ran hydrogen directly into the cylinders of a combustion engine. BMW engineers, obviously unscarred from the whole Hindenburg incident, announced the fruits of their labor today, a 7-series sedan that burns hydrogen and gasoline. BMW has been working on hydrogen combustion for some time, demonstrating its work with last year's launch of the record-breaking H2R hydrogen-burning test car.

The just-announced 7 series, dubbed the Hydrogen 7, uses a similar 12-cylinder engine as that in the H2R. The Hydrogen 7's engine produces 260 horsepower and runs the car to 62mph from zero in unimpressive 9.5 seconds. The car holds gas and hydrogen tanks, which the car can seamlessly switch between. The 17.6-pound hydrogen tank gives the car a 125-mile range, while the 19.6-gallon gas tank gives it an additional 300 miles. BMW plans to build a test fleet of Hydrogen 7s that will go into general use next year.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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