BMW Begins Testing of Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Daily Drivers

BMW is testing a new hydrogen-powered fuel cell in the form of a car that can run for up to 300 miles on a single tank. The German automaker plans for this technology to be used in its upcoming iNext model, which will be released in 2021.

BMW is testing hydrogen fuel cell technology for its next generation of vehicles. The company has begun to test the cars with a fleet of daily drivers in Germany.

As many manufacturers strive to be environmentally friendly, it is becoming clear that internal combustion engines can be done away with altogether. While the electric car may seem like an obvious option, many manufacturers are working to provide buyers and the market with more options to balance sustainability and resilience when purchasing electric vehicles. It seems that more and more major manufacturers are working to produce and test hydrogen options as an effective alternative fuel source. BMW has recently begun testing this option not only in its top-of-the-line flagship models, but also in regular commuter vehicles.

Testing of hydrogen as a fuel in routine scenarios

Hydrogen engine next to the BMW Hydrogen Next | Andreas Gebert, Bloomberg, Getty Images Although some car owners have a weekend car, most American households are focused on owning vehicles that can be driven almost daily. This means that any new fuel source and its salt must be able to withstand the tests and trials of everyday driving and normal road conditions. While supercar and hypercar manufacturers test their latest technologies on controlled tracks, everyday driving is much less controlled. To really test how hydrogen fuel cells will work for the majority of the market, it is important that testers like BMW see how these systems will perform in everyday traffic.

Is there potential for alternative energy in the large car market?

When it comes to buying and maintaining a car, many buyers prefer to stick with what they know, but the explosive popularity and growth of the electric and hybrid car market shows that the market in general is hungry for change. Of course, internal combustion engine fans will disagree, but there are many benefits to owning a car that runs on alternative energy sources, and according to BMW’s test results, hydrogen is worth considering. Instead of testing hydrogen engines, BMW is focusing on how hydrogen fuel cells can be used as an effective complement to battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids and even internal combustion engines. By testing hydrogen fuel cells under everyday driving conditions, BMW can assess reliability, safety and comfort, and the brand can continue to develop its new flagship, the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT.

What is the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT?

The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT will be the manufacturer’s flagship hydrogen-powered electric vehicle. According to BMW, the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is low-emission and CO2-free, which is in line with what we’ve seen in recent years as BMW strives to become more environmentally friendly in everything from the cars it makes to the way it uses its key materials. More than just a car, the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is a major step forward for the automaker that could pave the way for the development of cars in the future. So this is partly the future, partly an experiment where only time will tell how consumers will view hydrogen cars and whether they will actually prove to be reliable and efficient vehicles. We are convinced that in the future several alternative propulsion systems will co-exist, as there is no single solution that meets all the mobility needs of customers around the world. In the long term, hydrogen fuel cell technology could become the fourth pillar of our engine portfolio. Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Executive Board of BMW AG, Research and Development APPROPRIATE: Another step towards sustainable development: BMW invests in CO2-free steel production

BMW has begun testing the hydrogen fuel cell cars in order to make them more accessible for daily drivers. The company believes that these cars will be able to reduce emissions by up to 90%.

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