Hydrogen Fuel May Have a Bright Future, According to BMW
Electric vehicles are showing strong progress throughout the world
These vehicles have been winning support from governments and consumers alike, with consumers favoring these vehicles because of the fuel savings they represent. Many of the world's most prominent automakers that are interested in clean transpiration have devoted their efforts to developing conventional battery-electric vehicles. Germany automaker BMW is one such company. BMW has become a vocal advocate of clean transpiration and has recently launched its new electric vehicle, called the BMW i3. The automaker's interest is not restricted to battery-electrics, however, as BMW sees a promising future in hydrogen fuel.
The auto industry has become enamored with hydrogen fuel
Most of the world's major automakers, including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Daimler, and General Motors, are working to develop some form of hydrogen-powered vehicle. These vehicles are, essentially, electric as the fuel cells they are equipped with are used to generate the electrical power that these vehicles use. The benefit that fuel cells have over conventional lithium-ion batteries lies in their performance, durability, and ability to operate for prolonged periods of time. Fuel cell-equipped vehicles have shown performance that is on par with conventional vehicles that rely entirely on fossil-fuels.
The benefits of hydrogen fuel are not lost on BMW, though the automaker is currently working to establish a powerful presence in the electric vehicle market. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer believes that hydrogen fuel will have a significant role to play in the future of transportation. Hydrogen produces no emissions when it is used to generate electrical power, making this form of fuel quite appealing to automakers that are feeling pressure coming from the world's governments. Much of this pressure has to do with the adoption of aggressive emissions reduction policies. These policies are giving automakers an impossible to ignore incentive to focus on developing emissions-free vehicles and many automakers have opted to embrace hydrogen fuel for this purpose.
BMW may see a bright future ahead in the field of hydrogen fuel, but that does not mean that hydrogen is problem-free. Fuel cells are notoriously expensive energy systems, largely due to their use of platinum. The high cost of these fuel cells is expected to make hydrogen-powered vehicles quite expensive as well. Moreover, conventional hydrogen fuel production methods rely heavily on fossil-fuels, which reduces the environmentally friendly pedigree of hydrogen somewhat. Automakers are well aware of these issues, of course, and many have taken steps to resolve the problems that exist with fuel cell technology.
See more at ENN affiliate, Electric Forum.
Fuel cell car image credit: Jose Gil via Shutterstock.