In order to get around the difficulty of constructing an expensive network exclusively for passenger cars, BMW is hoping to ride the network of hydrogen fueling stations for trucks.
One of the biggest obstacles to H2 for passenger vehicles is a lack of recharging stations.
Even while battery electric vehicles remain the most common type of zero-emission vehicle, the carmaker is moving forward with this possibility. However, the business sees a chance to test a small fleet of fuel cell cars because networks for hydrogen fuel stations to supply trucks are planned.
Even as the cost of electric vehicle batteries continues to decline and those vehicles maintain their lead in the zero-emission passenger vehicle category, the automaker sees a lot of potential in the availability of a network of expanding hydrogen fuel stations to increase the appeal of H2 passenger cars.
The mainstream acceptance of H2 automobiles faces significant obstacles. Due of this, a number of automakers have already ceased developing vehicles using this green energy, including Mercedes-Benz and Audi, two competitors in the premium auto market.
According to figures released by Bloomberg NEF, global investment on these cars remained largely niche last year, totaling only approximately $2 billion across all H2-powered vehicles and refueling facilities. Just public EV charging generated more than $24 billion within the same time period.
BMW has been experimenting with hydrogen-powered cars for at least a few decades. It had already produced 100 of its “Hydrogen 7 vehicles” by the year 2005. The business has been collaborating with Toyota Motor Corp. for the past ten years; Toyota provided the fuel cell stacks for the BMW iX5 SUV.
Following a two-year testing phase in the US, Europe, and Asia, the luxury automaker started producing fuel cell systems for a fleet of less than 100 H2-powered iX5s in August 2022. According to Zipse, those vehicles are the best choice for drivers who demand vehicles that can manage longer distances and who won’t find it practical to employ a patchy infrastructure for battery recharging that will also have lengthy charging times at each stop.