BMW announced it will manufacture a limited number of hydrogen-powered 7-series luxury sedan cars next year.
The BMW Hydrogen 7, based on the company's high-end 7-series luxury sedan, will be powered by a 260-horsepower 12-cylinder internal combustion engine capable of running on either premium-grade gasoline or hydrogen, the company said. The car will be able to switch fuels automatically when the liquid hydrogen tank runs dry, BMW said, with no change in performance. The driver can also switch fuel sources by pressing a button.
The dual-mode system provides the car with a cruising range of more than 400 miles, according to BMW. The car can run for 125 miles on just the hydrogen tank alone and another 325 miles on gasoline. The long cruising range and the ability to burn gasoline are important because hydrogen fueling stations are still difficult to find.
The cars will be driven by "selected users" in the United States and other countries, BMW said. A total of 100 will be built with about 25 going to the U.S., said BMW spokesman Andreas Klugescheid.