BMW of North America and NASA have announced the successful completion of an eight-week test period of the BMW Hydrogen 7.
The test period, which was initiated under a Space Act Agreement between NASA and BMW, underscores the organizations' shared commitment to advancing hydrogen technologies and to exploring innovative transportation concepts and alternative energy sources. “We are very proud to have been able to offer this test period of the BMW Hydrogen 7 to NASA, with whom we share a unique common goal: the use and ongoing research of liquid hydrogen solutions,” said Karl-Heinz Ziwica, Vice President of Engineering, BMW of North America.
During the test period, NASA personnel had full access to the fleet of BMW Hydrogen 7s, which run on a form of liquid hydrogen similar to what NASA uses in its shuttles. During their time with NASA, the vehicles - which feature a dual combustion engine capable of running on liquid hydrogen or gasoline and shifting seamlessly between the two - were refueled using the space center's liquid hydrogen fueling supply located on the space center's premises.
Last year, BMW underscored its commitment to hydrogen-drive technologies with the debut of the BMW Hydrogen 7, a hydrogen-drive luxury performance automobile, to help stimulate demand for a viable hydrogen infrastructure in the long term. The car comes equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on either liquid hydrogen or gasoline and is based on the BMW 760Li. The V12 cylinder engine delivers 260 horsepower; the top speed of the Hydrogen 7 is 143 mph and acceleration 0-60 miles per hour is 9.2 seconds.
When driving in hydrogen mode, emissions of the BMW Hydrogen 7 are virtually nothing but water vapor. Since the start of research and development in alternative fuel sources more than 25 years ago, BMW has focused on liquid hydrogen as the appropriate source of energy for the automobile. The car features a high-tech vacuum insulated hydrogen tank in which liquid hydrogen can be stored at -253 degrees Celsius. One hundred BMW Hydrogen 7s have been built, and 25 are used in test programs in the US. The cars have already covered more than 1.3 million miles in test programs around the globe. (fuelcelltoday.com)