Eight-Week-Long Test Underscores Companies’ Mutual Support of Hydrogen Technologies
As NASA engineers prepare to launch the Space Shuttle Endeavour today,
BMW of North America and NASA announced the successful completion of an
eight-week test period of the BMW Hydrogen 7 – the first-ever
hydrogen-powered luxury sedan.
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
“We are very proud to have been able to offer
this test period of the BMW Hydrogen 7 to NASA, an organization that
truly is on the forefront of discovery and innovation and 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.
“It is the high energy density
of liquid hydrogen that allows the space shuttle to be accelerated into
space. The same concept is used to power the BMW Hydrogen 7. Using
hydrogen as a fuel can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent.
The BMW Hydrogen 7 is tangible proof that hydrogen-drive vehicles are a
very viable option for the future of sustainable mobility, and we’re
pleased that NASA was able to experience it first-hand.”
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
conveniently refueled using the space center’s liquid hydrogen fueling
supply located on the space center’s premises.
The BMW Hydrogen 7
year, BMW underscored its commitment to hydrogen-drive technologies
with the debut of the BMW Hydrogen 7 – the world's first 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 hp; the top speed of the Hydrogen 7 is 143 mph and
acceleration 0-60 mph is 9.2 sec. 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 super-insulated hydrogen tank in which liquid hydrogen
can be stored at the extremely low temperature of -423 ° Fahrenheit
(-253 °Celsius) for a long period of time – the same insulating effect
as a 17-meter-thick layer of Styrofoam. 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.
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