BMW has now developed another FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) hydrogen powered vehicle, a demonstration car to test out new technologies. The vehicle is based on a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and uses a 245hp electric motor and high-voltage battery, similar to the ones used in BMW’s eDrive and i Division plug-in hybrids. A tunnel tank, used to store hydrogen, is mounted in between the two axles.
BMW uses a 700 bar CGH2 storage vessel or a 350 bar BMW patented cryogenic pressure storage vessel. The cryogenic tank allows BMW to store gaseous hydrogen at low temperatures at 350 bar pressure, with an operating range of 500km (310 miles), giving a smaller tank similar range to a gasoline powered vehicle. Much of these technologies are results of the continued partnership between BMW and Toyota.
Some of the main benefits for this FCEV hydrogen fuel cell technology are the size and range. Pure EVs are usually quite small, to conserve weight and be aerodynamic, but hydrogen powered cars don’t have to be. They can be big luxury cars like the 5er GT, because the hydrogen fuel cell can be refilled in minutes at a station, so conservation isn’t absolutely necessary, though it is desired.
Moreover, hydrogen fuel cells can be refilled so quickly and they last so long, a hydrogen powered car makes for a fine long distance machine. No need to stop every 80 miles to charge for three hours, just stop at the closest station that sells hydrogen fuel and fill up like you would a gasoline car.