BMW Hydrogen 7
BMW Hydrogen 7

Direct from the factory - BMW UK takes delivery of its first fleet of the world’s first hydrogen-powered emissions-free luxury saloon cars.

‘Clean Energy’ comes to the UK next week with the arrival of eight BMW Hydrogen 7 cars. The virtually emissions-free luxury saloons form part of a total fleet of 100 Hydrogen 7 models that are a major landmark in BMW’s CleanEnergy programme: for the first time, Hydrogen 7 models have been produced on the ‘standard’ 7 Series production line and will be used in normal day-to-day driving in the UK.

Jim O’Donnell, BMW UK’s managing director, summed up this important step in BMW’s history: “The arrival of our Hydrogen 7 cars could not have come at a better time. Politicians, business leaders, the media and consumers are engaged in healthy debate on the future of energy supply and use. Meanwhile, the automotive industry is committed to cleaner motoring, with a host of possible solutions available today and being developed for the mid- and long-term. BMW is at the core of the future of motoring with tremendous developments in petrol and diesel engines, hybrid powertrains and hydrogen technologies.

“Our EfficientDynamics programme has introduced energy-saving technologies that break through the 60 miles per gallon and one hundred and twenty grams per kilometre CO2 barriers, our new diesels are cleaner and greener than many of today’s hybrids, yet power and performance in all of our cars has improved. Clean, green motoring can also be engaging and dynamic, and the new BMW Hydrogen 7 models epitomise that philosophy,” O’Donnell concluded.

The fleet of liquid hydrogen powered cars is set to continue its rigorous programme of driving activities on UK roads. They will be in active service as support vehicles at a number of high profile events over the summer as well as transporting key participants at industrial, business and political conferences. A select group of high-profile VIP users will also take delivery of a car for short periods of time in order to experience the ‘normality’ of emissions-free motoring.

Uwe Ellinghaus, BMW UK’s marketing director clarified the importance of these hydrogen cars: “The age-old chicken-and-egg debate has now been resolved. BMW can produce hydrogen-powered cars on the production line and the time is right to engage with business leaders and politicians in order to progress the development of a hydrogen highway - the fuelling and infrastructure requirements that make hydrogen a viable fuel for the consumer.

“We hope that experiencing these cars in normal driving situations will encourage people to join the debate. Without doubt, it will take many years for a suitable infrastructure to develop that makes hydrogen power an easy option for the consumer, but all indications are hydrogen is the only genuine long-term sustainable power source for cars. Public hydrogen filling stations have been developed in Germany and California, and the presence of BMW Hydrogen 7 cars in the UK will undoubtedly bring the future closer for British drivers,” Ellinghaus concluded.

The BMW Hydrogen 7 cars will be in action at a number of high-profile events starting on 22 May at the SMMT Test Day at Millbrook followed immediately afterwards when they will be used in the build up to the following week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. The Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Revolve alternative fuel Brighton to London drive event are also in the diary, as well as a number of conferences and environmental summits.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 14/05/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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