BMW to launch hydrogen-powered large sedan ‘after 2020’
BMW has shed more light on its plans to launch a hydrogen-powered vehicle, though the company is taking a more patient approach than Toyota and Honda.
The German automaker has been collaborating with Toyota on hydrogen technology and a co-developed sports car. On both fronts, the companies plan to use the shared technology in much different products.
“As we have two different opinions as companies when it comes to products on the market, we probably won’t have the same car on the market,” BMW’s fuel-cell development head, Merten Jung, told Reuters in a recent interview. “We don’t have a model yet, but … as the character of our technology favors larger cars, our model will probably be something like a long distance car, a larger sedan.”
The company has already previewed such a model, earlier this year revealing a prototype 5-Series GT (pictured) outfitted with a hydrogen tank and a 245-horsepower electric motor. It promised a range of at least 300 miles, though Jung now claims BMW is working on an improved hydrogen storage system that could allow a production model to travel even longer distances.
Toyota’s Mirai and Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell are currently available in the US market as only 12 hydrogen refueling stations are scattered across the entire country, mostly in California. Recent reports suggest some of the stations aren’t yet reliable, frequently forcing owners to travel across Los Angeles just to get a full tank.
Jung suggests BMW will be waiting until “sometime after 2020” before entering the market.