BMW Looking into Fuel Cell Technology and More Plug-In Hybrids

BMW eDrive Logo 1 photo
Photo: BMW
In this day and age, every one of us should be focusing on preserving the planet’s resources and focusing on creating a better world to live in, one that could sustain more than 7 billion people. In this regard, renewable energy is the key to making sure we won’t be stuck to bicycles and sails to get around town.
In the automotive field though, things have always been tricky because everyone wants the best solution and mix between emotion and efficiency. BMW is and always was at the forefront of the latest technology, in all areas, not just driving experience.

Over the last 15 years, since their so-called EfficientDynamics concept was launched, they managed to achieve impressive numbers related to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, driving them down by 25 percent and aiming at reducing them even further, by the same amount, by 2020.

Unfortunately for the German company, they’ll have to abide to at least two sets of rules, since they are selling their vehicles on more than one market, each having its own regulations. Fortunately for us, this is BMW after all, and they’ll surely manage to keep everyone satisfied.

At the recent media event, Innovations Days 2014, they’re focus was on Efficient Dynamics and they confirmed that the near future will be seeing the introduction of more plug-in hybrids, just as we reported and they are also looking into fuel-cell technology.

Of course, reaching a usable state for hydrogen powered vehicles will the challenge of the next few years, as they will be transforming our cars into emission free ‘carriages’ with no range anxiety as electric model currently do.

On top of these new drivetrains, the focus on the upcoming years will also be on lightweight materials and a more aerodynamic design couple with intelligent energy management. In this area, CFRP will be essential, mixing strength and low weight into a rather unusual combination.

Despite some people claiming that the huge investment BMW made into this material for its i range, the benefits are quickly starting to show, the carbon fibre derivate being used on a number of new models created in Germany and, therefore, already starting to claim back some of the investment it required.

At the same time, BMW also has to stay true to its trademark driving enjoyment. Some will never drive a Bimmer unless it has at least a 3-liter engine but moving further into the 21st century they’ll simply have to adapt, as long as the excitement will still be there.

A big case in this regard is made by the soon to be tested i8 that’s using a plug-in hybrid drivetrain made up of a ‘measly’ 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, delivering unbelievable performance on a lightweight chassis.

As for the upcoming plug-in models, you can be sure we’ll be seeing an X5 eDrive version as well as 3 Series and 2 Series Active Tourer models, all of them using the same kind of hybrid power.
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