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The Hydrogen Age Has Begun For BMW

The Hydrogen Age Has Begun For BMW
 by: Jenny McLane

BMW is presenting the H2R Hydrogen World Speed Record Car. This prototype impressively proved the potential of a hydrogen car with a combustion engine, achieving nine international records in one day. This clearly proves the BMW Group's long held belief that hydrogen can replace conventional fuel without having to forego the performance and dynamics of a modern premium automobile.

Hydrogen being the lightest element in the universe is also the most common, available in an infinite supply. When mixed with oxygen, hydrogen burns in a virtually clean manner, creating water vapor as exhaust. Thus, BMW believes hydrogen is the fuel of the future.

BMW has seen the promise of hydrogen as a fuel for years. And today, hydrogen-powered, high-performance BMW vehicles are a reality. But building concept cars is just the first step; BMW's long-term goal is to help create a world of "sustainable mobility." Eventually replacing the cars that run on fossil fuels -- gasoline or diesel oil -- with vehicles that use this clean burning, environmentally friendly element is the carmaker's vision.

With numerous international partnerships, each dedicated to helping the world build a better future, based on hydrogen energy, BMW is set to achieve its futuristic goal.

Sleek and aerodynamic, the BMW H2R ("Hydrogen Record Car") is one of the first of a new breed of racecars specially developed to run on liquid hydrogen fuel. With combustion engine that can run on liquid hydrogen or gasoline to propel the vehicle, BMW H2R has already set nine international speed records at the Miramas Proving Grounds in France.

The H2R'?s mighty 6.0-liter V-12 engine, which draws on BMW's advanced Valvetronic and Double-VANOS technology, is based on the 760i'?s gasoline-fueled power plant. This H2-powered high performer generates 232 horsepower, helping it to achieve a top speed of over 187 mph.

Refueling a hydrogen-powered vehicle is just as similar to the gasoline powered one. The driver doesn't even have to get out of the car. A tank card or electronic remote control can easily identify the vehicle, so the fully automated tank-filling robot knows whether to pump liquid or gaseous hydrogen.

Hydrogen gas will not leak into the air when refueling a liquid hydrogen powered BMW. By the time the driver needs more fuel, the hydrogen left in the tank has turned into a gaseous state, at a higher pressure. At the refueling station, -423'? F liquid hydrogen is pumped into the tank. As this liquid hydrogen "rains" into the tank, the gaseous hydrogen already there condenses on these super-cold droplets, and the partial pressure in the tank is reduced. As a result, no hydrogen escapes while filling the tank.

At present, there are two hydrogen fueling stations in Germany: one at the Munich airport, and one in Berlin that offers conventional fuels, compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2), and liquid hydrogen (LH2). There are also plans underway to build 24 hydrogen-refueling stations throughout California.

Just as BMW strives to create clean fuel and environment friendly cars, Partstrain online store shares the vision by providing high quality, tested BMW parts at very affordable prices. Browse at their fine array of BMW parts at and match your BMW's superior performance.

About The Author

Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.