With the launch of BMW's Hydrogen 7 car, you can now drive in luxury, as well as have the peace of mind of driving a car that is environment friendly. It is the world's first production model to run entirely on hydrogen.
Instead of releasing toxic exhaust into the air, the only thing that comes out of this Bimmer's exhaust pipe is water vapor. This is because the hydrogen from the tank combines with oxygen from the air to 'explode' safely at the heart of the internal combustion engine. This then provides the power that turns the wheels, and creates pure water as a by-product, rather than the harmful CO2 most cars produce.
The car is based off BMW's 7 series, and has an 6 liter V12 engine that can run as a dual-fuel hybrid on either hyrdogen or gas. Because hydrogen is highy explosive, it is carefully contained within 220kg double skinned fuel tank that holds approximately 8kg of liquid hydrogen. 8kg of liquid hydrogen is equal to about 38kg of petrol. BMW expects to get the weight of its next generation hyrdogen cars tanks down to about 80kg, reducing the overall weight of the car.
Switching the car from hyrdogen to gas is done with the push of a button, and does not interupt the driving experience or travel. On hydrogen alone the car can go 125mph, but with the gas on back-up the car can go for 435mph until fill-up.
Filling up, however, can pose a bit of a problem. Hyrdogen fueling stations are far and few between. Therefore, the cars will only be initially available in Los Angeles, Washington, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Milan, due to a lack of a hydogen infrastructure.
BMW has not set a price for the vehicles, however, the car is outfitted with everything you'd expect from a top-of-the-line, luxury BMW, and without the hydrogen tank would be worth at least $400,000. With the hydrogen tank, BMW states that the car has a material value of about $500,000, although they estimate them to have a speculative worth of about $2 million because of research done.
BMW plans to lease the cars to high profile celebrities, sports stars, politians, and industry leaders. Names already mentioned include Al Gore, Madonna, Schwarzenegger, and Dr. David Suzuki. BMW aims to have these figures serve as pioneers in the clean energy movement, bringing attention to the need to switch from fossil fuels to a move renewable form of energy.