Nov. 13, 2006: Wired News—Road Testing BMW’s Hydrogen 7

Summary: "Jules Verne, in his 1874 novel The Mysterious Island, described hydrogen as an ‘inexhaustible source of heat and light.’ A little over 130 years later, BMW is testing the theory with an innovative internal combustion engine that burns the lightest element much like gasoline, only cleaner.

Wired News was invited to test-drive one of BMW’s new Hydrogen 7 automobiles recently. It proved a serious step forward in using hydrogen as a potential energy source for cars, while showing defects that make the concept a clear work in progress."

A hydrogen flex-fuel luxury car—just what the world didn’t know it really needed. If you find yourself in Kansas, fill it up with gasoline. Back in Hollywood or NYC, a mobile hydrogen truck can have you burning H2 instead, at least for the next 120 miles. Your emissions will be mostly water.

While there is certainly some value in testing out new technologies with a view toward cleaner transportation, BMW’s latest effort looks like one of those dead ends on the sustainable mobility evolution tree. Simply producing the liquid hydrogen from natural gas generates more carbon dioxide than running a regular gasoline internal combustion engine. Consider the diesel-powered mobile trucks toting the hydrogen, and emissions start to add up.

Still, it will be fascinating to see which celebrities end up with the cars. Shall we start a pool?

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