Hydrogen Powered Cars
BMW’s hydrogen strategy is starting to take shape. The company has been working on hydrogen-powered cars
since 1984, but for a long time the focus remained on the internal-combustion engine. The efforts, first shown in a
7-series in the mid-1980s, culminated in 2006 in the V-12–powered Hydrogen 7. Now the company has switched
to a different tack.
While those early vehicles were fun to drive, they suffered from the inefficiencies of super-cooling the liquefied
hydrogen, and the hydrogen vaporizing in storage. Around the turn of the century, BMW began to research the
hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell electric vehicle as an alternative to the hydrogen-powered combustion engine. The
result of that research is the matte-black, two-seat sports car you see here, which bears more than a passing
resemblance to the i8.