BMW says its fuel-cell electric-drive technology results from a cooperation with Toyota (Photo: BMW)
BMW is testing a hydrogen fuel-cell electric drive vehicle, but isn't making any predictions about a possible market launch.
The German premium car maker, which showed journalists a 5 Series GT model with a fuel-cell powered electric motor, said the project is one result from the strategic collaboration it formed with Toyota in 2013. That pact "has provided fresh momentum for the development of FCEV drive technology," BMW said in a press release.
Toyota is launching aÂ fuel-cell vehicle, the Mirai, this year.
BMW said the goal of its cooperation with Toyota is to develop "an initial group of approved components" by 2020. Whether an actual car will then come to market, will depend on the development of a hydrogen infrastructure, the carmaker said.
Toyota, Hyundai, Honda and several other brands have already launched fuel-cell vehicles or are getting ready to do so. But they all acknowledge that the absence of a network of charging stations is holding back potential sales.
The 5 Series GT shown this week has a 180kW or 245 hp electric motor, power electronics and a high-voltage battery. The system has been developed as a variant of the company's eDrive technology, which is being used in the BMW i cars and other models.
BMW said that, longer term, it sees hydrogen fuel-cell drive technology as an "integral element" of its Efficient Dynamics" strategy, which aims to build increasingly efficient powertrains while maintaining the brand's trademark sporty driving characteristics.