BMW Hydrogen 7 Review

By Jonathan Spira on 20 June 2010
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BMW has been a thought leader and pioneer in the efficient, ecologically sound use of resources.  Indeed, according to the Berlin Institute for Future Studies and Technology Evaluation (IZT), BMW manages its financial, ecological, and social resources five times better than the average German company.  This is not surprising considering that, in 1973, BMW was the world’s first automobile manufacturer to create a department of Environmental Protection.

In the period from 1998 through 2008, BMW reduced its overall energy consumption by 26% and the emission of CO2 by 24% per produced vehicle.  This comes from multiple innovations in manufacturing, including many at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which obtains 63% of its energy from methane gas from a nearby landfill. This allowed the plant to reduce its CO2 emissions in 2006 alone by 53,593 tonnes.  BMW has also reduced its water consumption per manufactured vehicle by 47% since 1996.

So it was not surprising when BMW, in September 2006, introduced the BMW Hydrogen 7. The Hydrogen 7 is equipped with a dual-mode 12-cylinder internal combustion engine based on BMW’s 12-cylinder 6.0-litre gasoline engine used in the 7er Series.

The BMW Hydrogen 7 was the world’s first hydrogen-drive luxury performance automobile for everyday use (n.b. BMW previously built hydrogen-powered test vehicles, such as the 750HL, but they were not put into production).

The 203.9”-long Autobahn cruiser came equipped with every conceivable option, including BMW’s Comfort Seats, which feature 14-way power adjustment; Active Roll Stabilization, an active suspension control system designed to reduce body-roll, or lean, when cornering; Bluetooth wireless technology connecting the mobile phone to the car; Comfort Access, which allows the driver to leave the key in his pocket to unlock, start, and lock the vehicle; the iDrive cockpit controller; and the Logic7 Audio System, with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and 13 speakers.

The Hydrogen 7 went through the standard BMW product development process and was produced in Dingolfing, Germany, alongside other production BMWs, including the gasoline-only and diesel-powered 7er and 5er.  Click here to continue to page 2.

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