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Driving BMW's Amazing Hydrogen 7 Series

Green Car Journal Online editors put the BMW Hydrogen 7 through its paces in Berlin. With a formidable 6.0-liter V-12 beneath the hood, the high style of BMW's popular 7 Series sedan, and the joy of zero emission motoring...what's not to like?

It's no easy thing to predict the future. Yet, that's just what automakers are tasked with doing as they plan their way to an evolving automotive market that promises to include cleaner vehicles and fuels. Hydrogen is clearly a front-runner as a future fuel because of all the advantages this sustainable energy source brings. This alternative fuel has widespread buy-in among auto manufacturers and has driven substantial development of hydrogen fuel cells and the vehicles that will run on them. But at least one major automaker, BMW, figures on going a different route.

"BMW clearly has its sights set on internal combustion as the engine of choice for hydrogen," says Ron Cogan, editor-in-chief of Green Car Journal Online and editor/publisher of the Green Car Journal auto enthusiast magazine. "Engines like BMW's 6.0-liter V-12 run well on liquid hydrogen, as Green Car's testing of Hydrogen 7 sedans on Germany's autobahn and U.S. roads have shown." This testing experience is now shared in a Top Stories feature at Green Car Journal Online.

According to Cogan, it's not that this automaker doesn't see the value of fuel cells. Rather, "BMW's fuel cell development is focused on using these efficient electrochemical powerplants as auxiliary generating devices for on-board electrical needs, rather than propulsion." This strategy was showcased in BMW's 740hL hydrogen demonstrator first shown in the U.S. seven years ago.

Green Car Journal, the industry authority that's reported extensively on this field since 1992, began covering BMW's early hydrogen work long before hydrogen was the high-profile alternative fuel that it is today. BMW has been working on hydrogen vehicle technology since 1978.

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