Hydrogen vehicles could soon cost as much as combustion engines says BMW

BMW i Hydrogen Fuel Cell

While most car manufacturers have invested heavily in electric vehicle (EV) technology as the global demand for EVs continues to rise, BMW believes hydrogen technology could play just as large a role in the future of transport.

BMW have invested heavily in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle (FCEV) technology recently, with the company’s vice-president for hydrogen and fuel-cell technology Dr Jurgen Guldner saying it could be just a matter of time before price parity was achieved between FCEVs and petrol engine vehicles.

“We are already starting to work on the third generation with a clear challenge to bring down the cost to the point where we can enter the market,’ said Guldner.

“2025 would be the earliest [price parity could be achieved]. If you look at the plans that Japan, Korea and others have published, they all suggest a window of opportunity between 2025 and 2030 for equalising the cost with conventional technology.”

Hydrogen-powered vehicles have become a hot topic of debate recently, with the potential benefits of using the power-source mitigated by the troubles of sourcing and transporting the fuel.

Because of these issues, refuelling infrastructure has been slow to take off, an issue Guldner says will soon be rectified.

“In Japan, Korea, Germany and in California, the numbers are increasing, and we can expect that to continue.

“In countries of that size, we need 800 to 1,000 stations so that every user has one within three to five miles from home. There are 80 in Germany today and there are plans to increase that to between 250 and 400 by 2025.

With a range of electric and hybrid vehicle options already available or soon to be released, BMW are a global leader in electric and hybrid technology. Last year the company announced their goal to put 1 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2021, a goal Guldner believes hydrogen vehicles will assist in achieving.

“We don’t see it [FCEVs] as competition for the battery electric vehicle, but as a further offer to our customers.”

BMW recently released a concept of its i Hydrogen Next vehicle, an FCEV based on the current X5 large SUV. The company is hoping to join Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota in putting hydrogen vehicles on the roads soon.

Source: Cars guide | BMW’s hydrogen electric cars could be as cheap as petrol vehicles

31 Jan 2020