BMW to ship fuel-cell vehicle by 2020?

BMW to ship fuel-cell vehicle by 2020?

BMW is reportedly preparing to push a fuel-cell vehicle into production by the end of the decade.

The company has already promised to develop at least one hydrogen-powered model, rumored to be introduced as the ‘i5’ to complement both existing i-series cars. Engineers are said to be actively engaged in early development, working toward an ambitious launch window.

“We will still be developing the technologies and doing everything else behind the scenes, but we will pass on the chance to do a production car from the first generation of the development,” an unnamed insider told Auto Express. “We are betting on the second generation of the technology being right for production, so our target is 2020.”

BMW is currently collaborating with Toyota to explore fuel-cells, combining resources to bring the technology from concept to production, but the German automaker has not yet publicly confirmed intentions to follow on the heels of the Mirai. Despite the partnership, reports suggest BMW is quietly placing its bets on battery-powered EVs as the more likely winner in the zero-emissions race.

Fuel-cell critics have argued that hydrogen infrastructure is currently extremely limited, constrained by the high costs and relative complexities of refueling stations. Tesla Motors has been vocal in dismissing the technology, expecting lithium-ion batteries to maintain a significant lead as prices continue to drop.

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