Hydrogen Powered BMW i8: The Future Of The Electric Car

The first argument used by electric car naysayers is about range and recharge time: it’s nice that electric cars now have a range of 400 km (well, the Model S has), but if you have to stay at the same place for eight hours (average charging time on a 220 volt charger) before being able to drive again, it’s not very convenient.

BMW is currently trying to come up with a long-term solution; by partnering with Toyota, the German manufacturer is working on a hydrogen drivetrain. Its latest development in this domain is the i8 that you see in the above pictures. It is called BMW i8 hydrogen Concept.

It’s not the first time BMW has delved into this fuel source. About 10 years ago, they actually sold their science project, a V12-powered 7 Series that ran on either hydrogen or gasoline. The prototype shown here is based on one of the first i8 chassis developed, but has been fitted with a hydrogen tank, electric motors and batteries made by BMW. The fuel cell seems to come from Toyota, and was probably pilfered from a Mirai.

This particular prototype may never see the light of day, but BMW states that they intend to market a hydrogen vehicle before 2020. Chances are that the first vehicle to come out will be a 5 Series GT; it has a large trunk, which would be necessary to store a tank large enough to give the car a 500 km range.

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