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BMW Sees Hydrogen Cars as Complement to Electric Vehicles

BMW clarifies that hydrogen fuel cells are meant to complement, not replace, electric cars. These technologies serve different needs and can coexist. While many car manufacturers focus solely on battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), BMW sees potential in hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The company is investing in both, believing they suit different types of drivers and vehicle needs.

Photo from Drive

Hydrogen cars are ideal for long distances and heavy towing, while electric cars are better suited for urban settings and shorter trips. BMW doesn’t currently sell hydrogen cars but is testing the technology, aiming for commercial release by the end of the decade.

Dr. Juergen Guldner of BMW explains that offering both technologies meets diverse consumer needs. Hydrogen vehicles, which refuel quickly and emit only water, could be key for those unable to charge electric cars at home or travel extensively.

BMW highlights the economic benefits of maintaining both infrastructures. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, a mixed fleet of hydrogen and electric vehicles could reduce costs by 21%. This mix also provides a backup if battery technology doesn’t advance as expected.

BMW is working on its hydrogen technology through a prototype, the iX5 Hydrogen, and is considering production by the 2030s. The company envisions organically developing local ecosystems of hydrogen infrastructure, initially driven by commercial fleets and early adopters.

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