BMW just showed off mockups of 5 Series Grand Turismo hydrogen FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) car and research hybrids during its Group Innovation Days.
The 5 Series GT hydrogen FCEV and an i8 research vehicle, which uses the same fuel-cell driven powertrain, took laps at the Miramas proving grounds in the South of France, and BMW offered close-ups of their hydrogen adaptation of its eDrive tech.
"The development of a series-produced FCEV provides the opportunity to integrate the variable drive system architecture into a bespoke vehicle architecture and so provide the perfect showcase for the qualities customers will most appreciate," BMW said in a statement.
While not confirmed by BMW, both the GT and i8 FCEVs are constructed with the same or very similar arrays of fuel cell rods at the front of their chassis; their fuel tanks were placed in the area of their trunks were spare tires; and batteries are traditionally stowed.
BMW has been partnering with Toyota in the development of fuel cell electric vehicles and to have the hydrogen FCEV parts approved and ready for mass production by 2020. However, BMW pointed out that the success of FCEVs is tied to the development of the underlying hydrogen infrastructure.
BMW and Toyota "are supporting this process through jointly created technological standards which make fuel cell-powered vehicles easier to use and help to increase their reach and numbers," said BMW.
While BMW and Toyota have been venturing into the hydrogen hybrid sector, Hyundai lately announced that it's planning to invest $10 billion in the development of hydrogen cell components and other green technologies. For BMW, it sees hydrogen fuel cell tech as vital element of its Efficient Dynamics strategy, the company said.
"This would create a drive system portfolio of the greatest possible variety, which can be adapted flexibly to different vehicle concepts, customer desires and legal requirements around the world," said BMW.