BMW to Create a Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine

November 04, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

The BMW Group (Munich, Germany) is reportedly working on series development of a car driven by a hydrogen combustion engine. The progressive sedan is based on the current BMW 7 Series. Top speed will be 215 kph (133 mph) and, the cruising range will be in excess of 200 km or 125 mi on hydrogen and 500 km or 310 mi on gasoline.

BMW already presented a hydrogen concept engine at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. Displacing 6.0 L, the V12 engine develops maximum output of more than 170 kW or 231 bhp at 5,500 rpm, with a maximum torque of 337 Nm or 248 lb-ft at a low 2,000 rpm. The new hydrogen concept engine is able to run on a stochiometric hydrogen/air mixture (lambda = 1). One of the biggest challenges in making this possible was to avoid anomalies in the combustion process overcome by the use of fully variable double-VANOS and Valvetronic drive.

The BMW Group’s hydrogen concept also involves the use of a fuel cell, an auxiliary power unit or polymer electrolyte membrane, which supplies electric power for the on-board network.