The vehicle, a BMW 1 series, was introduced today at the 25th anniversary of the BMW Forschung und Technik in Munich, Germany. The German carmaker has established a partnership with UTC Power in 1999, a project through which the two companies have been developing emission-free, freeze-capable fuel cell systems.
"We have highly valued our relationship with BMW for over 10 years and we look forward to continuing our work on emission-free fuel cells that help BMW develop efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles for the marketplace," said Ken Stewart, Vice President of the UTC Power Transportation Business.
Stewart explained that the fuel cell system installed in the BMW 1 Series is the result of over 10 years of research on durability and freeze capability technology. "From a fully frozen state, the fuel cell is half way to full power in less than 30 seconds," he said, describing the system’s performance. "The system uses UTC Power's proprietary ambient pressure technology, which does not require a compressor to deliver air to the cell stack. This results in a quieter, more efficient system."
The unit is a five kilowatt UTC Power fuel cell system that has a 100 percent independence degree. It features accessible vehicle interfaces, thus being easy to install.
The first project developed by BMW and UTC Power was a BMW 7 series that featured an UTC fuel cell auxiliary power unit, which ran on pure hydrogen and powered the car’s auxiliary system when the engine was turned off. The vehicle was presented at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show.