|BMW Hydrogen 7|
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BMW is the world's first car maker to present a hydrogen-drive car which has successfully completed the process of series development: The BMW Hydrogen 7 with its hydrogen combustion engine is the result of a consistent development strategy now rendering this trendsetting concept of sustained mobility fully suitable for regular use in today's world. The BMW 7 Series Hydrogen 7 Saloon is powered by a 191 kW/260 hp twelve-cylinder and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 230 km/h or 143 mph. And as long as full supply of hydrogen is not guaranteed, the dual-mode power unit featured in BMW Hydrogen 7 switches over quickly and conveniently to conventional premium gasoline.
Offering the world this highly practical solution, BMW is not only demonstrating its leadership in technology in the area of future-oriented drive systems. Rather, the integration of hydrogen drive in an existing vehicle concept which has already proven its merits in the market paves the way for an alternative to conventional drive concepts fully accepted in the market and with all the assets the customer is looking for in practice. The launch of BMW Hydrogen 7 is therefore a milestone en route to an era of mobility independent of fossil fuels not only for the BMW Group but also for the entire automotive and energy industry. BMW Hydrogen 7 clearly proves, therefore, that liquid hydrogen may by all means be used as a source of energy for the production car. Indeed, introducing BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW Group is establishing powerful momentum for the ongoing development of a supply infrastructure serving above all to set up additional hydrogen filling stations providing sustained mobility on a broad basis also in future.
The promotion and ongoing development of hydrogen technology as the appropriate type of energy for the future is an essential part of the BMW Group's CleanEnergy strategy. In this context, BMW Hydrogen 7 serves as a pacemaker enabling all development partners participating in the concept to demonstrate the practical, everyday qualities and benefits of this jointly developed technology. The BMW CleanEnergy concept therefore seeks to provide a drive technology which serves to fulfil current and future demand for individual mobility without the use of fossil fuels. Indeed, hydrogen technology offers the opportunity to dramatically reduce emissions generated by personal transport and, in particular, to minimise the emission of CO2: Running in the hydrogen mode, the BMW Hydrogen 7 basically emits nothing but vapour.
The vision of sustained mobility free of harmful emissions applies not only to the actual operation and use of the car, but also to the generation of drive energy: It is a well-known fact today that mankind needs alternatives to the consumption of fossil fuels limited in their availability. And contrary to such conventional fuels, hydrogen is meets the requirements of the future in full both in its generation and in its sustainability, being embedded in the regenerating cycle of nature. Recovered from biomass or with the help of energy from the sun, from wind and hydro-power, hydrogen is available in virtually infinite supply. And if necessary it can also be generated with the help of natural gas, biogas, or other sources of primary energy. As a result, the type of hydrogen recovery and production can be adjusted flexibly to current conditions and requirements, ensuring maximum diversification and facilitating the gradual substitution of fossil fuels step-by-step in the course of time.
In developing the technical components required for using hydrogen, the BMW Group cooperates closely with specialised suppliers and partners in development. In addition, the BMW Group is a founding member of the Transport Energy Strategy (TES) and belongs to the Berlin Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) also comprising other car makers, energy supply companies, and public transport services. CEP is part of Germany's national strategy of sustainability, and is supported and promoted by the German Government. It was at the initiative of CEP that the first integrated hydrogen filling station was opened in Berlin, reflecting the Consortium's objective to prove the qualities of hydrogen for everyday use in mobile applications.
To promote the use of hydrogen as a source of energy, the BMW Group has concluded an agreement with Total, the mineral oil and fuel supplier operating an integrated filling station with both conventional fuels and hydrogen in Berlin year ever since 2004. Yet another hydrogen filling station in the capital city of Germany - again as part of the CEP initiative - was then opened by Total in March 2006. A new integrated hydrogen filling station also run by Total is to be opened in Munich at the end of 2006, marking the premiere of BMW Hydrogen 7 near the BMW Group's Research and Innovation Centre. And last but certainly not least, the BMW Group and Total have agreed to open yet another integrated hydrogen filling station in a further large city in Europe.
Benefiting from experience already gained in practice, the process of filling up the hydrogen tank is now quite similar to the process of filling up a conventional tank under regular conditions at a gasoline or diesel fuel pump: As soon as the driver has manually connected the tank coupling to the fuel tank filler cap on the car, the entire process of filling up the tank is fully automatic.
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