BMW Hydrogen 7


BMW’s Hydrogen 7 is a 100-unit production ready car, powered by a 260hp V12 engine which takes the car from 0-100km/h in 9.5 seconds thanks to 390Nm of torque which peaks at 4,300rpm. While 6.0 litres of V12 goodness based on the unit in the BMW 760i making only 260hp is really nothing to shout about, in fact some might say it’s under performing, but the engine has the ability to use both regular gasoline as well as liquid hydrogen. More details after the jump.


Other technological highlights of the dual-powered engine include fully variable VALVETRONIC valve management and variable double-VANOS camshaft control. Fuel in gasoline mode is supplied through direct injection, while hydrogen is supplied via a pipe integrated in the engine’s intake system. Both gas cycle and injection rhythm is controlled by the VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS systems.

BMW picked liquid hydrogen over a tank with compressed gaseous hydrogen at 700 bar because it offered 75 percent more energy content. Thanks to the usage of liquid hydrogen, the car goes up to 200km on hydrogen mode, with another 500km in gasoline mode. So technically total range of this car should be about 700km. The hydrogen is stored in a tank which can store 8kg of liquid hydrogen, and the car still keeps a conventional petrol tank which stores 74 litres.

Storing the 8kg liquid hydrogen tank meant modification to the rear end of the car, which reduced boot capacity to a relatively measely 225 litres. The rear passanger seats have also been turned into a strict 2-seater, with the centre armrest fitted firmly in the middle, thus the BMW Hydrogen 7 is a 4-seater.

BMW says the system is lighter than a fuel cell which could hardly offer the same kind of power, and costs less to produce. It is manufactured at BMW’s Dingolfing Plant together with the other models in the BMW 5, 6, and 7-series, with the engine coming from BMW’s plant in Munich.

This concept of taking a combustion engine and modifying it for hydrogen use has also been used by Mazda with their Hydrogen RENESIS.




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Paul Tan

After dabbling for years in the IT industry, Paul Tan initially began this site as a general blog covering various topics of personal interest. With an increasing number of readers paying rapt attention to the motoring stories, one thing led to another and the rest, as they say, is history.



  • 4G63T DSM (Member) on Oct 30, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    Goes 200km with 8kg of liquid hydrogen? Thats pretty amazing considering hydrogen has far less energy per mol compared to petrol. Even compact cars with small engines would have problems getting that sort of numbers running with 8kg of petrol…. sure there isn't a typo somewhere?

    Would be more likely to be 80kg than 8.

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  • rexis (Member) on Oct 30, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    4G63T, it is correct, hydrogen has more energy then gasoline per mass basis, therefore 8kg for 200km is reasonable if you burn the hydrogen in a gas burner.

    Honda FCX is capable of achieving 70miles per kg of H2 on a fuel cell. So this BMW hydrogen 7 is seriously considered a gas guzzler and a waste of valuable resources.

    Paul, did you forgot to mention that the tank full of liquid hydrogen will boil off mostly after 2 weeks of no usage? And dont forget to talk about the cutting edge technology that BMW used to make that liquid hydrogen tank.

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  • whodz (Member) on Oct 30, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    wow, that is a scary pump hose.

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  • DG (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 1:40 am


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  • szw (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 5:13 am

    760li gearbox sux, very easy to overheat wan .

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  • holy_cow (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 9:16 am

    rexis, you're not factoring in that the FCX is a concept (a highly conceptual concept, at that) utilising expensive fuel cell technology that, while more efficient than hydrogen combustion, is still not production-ready. The Hydrogen 7 is a production car, let's not forget. I've read that the best application for liquid hydrogen combustion will be in fleets, where use and refuelling of the vehicles are constant and regular – due to boil-off and other related issues. As far as I know, that's exactly the application BMW has in mind for the Hydrogen 7 – it's being marketed as a fleet car for governments and businesses.

    I'm curious about one issue that rexis raised, though – how exactly did they build the tank for this thing and keep it cost-effective?

    And szw, the alleged overheating gearboxes are not BMW's fault, it's all because of global warming, so once they solve global warming with the Hydrogen 7, everything will be ok again. Do you think I'm talking nonsense? Well, it was the only way I could possibly conceive of your comment being relevant to Paul's post.

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  • SoMeOnE (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 9:55 am

    260 hp?..i get more in a tubo charged straght 4!!!!!! and its a v12…..i know its for economy..but why a v12 then?

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  • protonGL (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 11:34 am

    regardless what type of fuel they use,

    7 series is a waste, 5 people the sit in still have to stretch legs, stupid isntit,

    prefer the MPV than this Big Massive Wasteful ,not so beautiful, 5 seater.

    if feels more first class with the MPV.

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  • rexis (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    With all due respect, indeed, FCX is a concept, and hydrogen-7 is production ready, but not a single word about how much it will cost? So does it necessary, who will buy it erxactly? Lets not discuss where do we get all the hydrogen and will it solve our global warming problem. Burning pure energy fuel in an extremely inefficient V12 burner is simply a waste of resources and cash. No? You see, 6000cc of 260hp, is really pitifully little, and its only get 200km range on H2. NGV taxi with bigger tanks can go further then that.

    Pro tuners can easily squezz 500hp or more out from a 2000cc engine.

    Anyone who interested how the liquid hydrogen tank works, refer below:…

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  • rexis (Member) on Oct 31, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    BTW, it is very nice to see that Paul is posting information about green cars. Appreciate it. Good job. :D

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  • ysyslys (Member) on Nov 01, 2006 at 5:59 am

    ohhhhhh My God. W4e need to inserting "black Snack" during filling. the filling hose feel heavyyyyyyyyyyyy.

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