It was reported in June that the first BMW fuel cell vehicle would arrive by 2020, but maybe that won’t happen. According to a new report from Reuters, the German automaker’s first FCV will arrive after the end of the decade. In an interview with the publication at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Mr. Merten Jung, Head of fuel cell development at BMW, said: “It (first BMW FCV arrival) will be sometime after 2020.”
This would be after the company’s hydrogen development partnership with Toyota Motor ends. Currently under this partnership, it is developing a method to compress hydrogen at ultra-low temperatures to increase its storage volume. A fuel cell stack developed by the Japanese partner is being used as the base.
The Munich-based automaker is eyeing an impressive range of over 700 km, as per the report. To achieve that range in final specification, using compressed hydrogen, the process would take a few more years. The first fuel-cell BMW will probably be a large sedan.
“We don’t have a model yet, but … as the character of our technology favours larger cars, our model will probably be something like a long distance car, a larger sedan.”
Lexus, Toyota Motor’s BMW-rivaling luxury marque, is also likely to bring its first fuel cell model around 2020. A recent report says that it will likely be Lexus LS variant, incorporating the company’s second generation fuel cell stack, a further development of the current one of the Toyota Mirai.
The two of the world’s biggest automakers won’t be co-developing these new fuel cell cars though.
“As we have two different opinions as companies when it comes to products on the market, we probably won’t have the same car on the market. At a certain point there needs to be a difference between Toyota and BMW, and where things need to be separate, but until that point, anything is possible.”