BMW boss argues for expansion of hydrogen refueling infrastructure

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From looking at the future strategies of automakers around the world, you would think that combustion engines will gradually disappear, and EVs will replace them. BMW boss Oliver Zipse dismissed that narrative during the Innovation Day conference in Erlangen, Germany, as reported by Wirtschafts Woche. He opposes bringing down ICE power plants and promoting hydrogen as a fuel source.

Zipse says hydrogen is “the only raw material that can be produced and stored sustainably.” His remarks come just weeks after BMW began fuel cell production in Munich. It built it for the limited-production Hydrogen iX5 Concept (gallery below).

Zipse argues that hydrogen has an advantage over EVs. “You don’t need your own charging infrastructure,” he said. “You can change a refueling station in two days. The road to get there is relatively short, unlike electromobility, where you need a connection to a medium-voltage grid and you need charging infrastructure for every car.”

We think it’s wrong to turn off combustion engines in Europe,” Zipse said in a translation of his statement from the conference. “The industry would look different in terms of scale and structure than it does today if it only used one technology. “

While this is Zipse’s opinion, legislation from around the world will probably shut down the combustion engine market. The European Union is close to enacting such a ban starting in 2035. Although, Germany is reportedly pushing back. California, which is BMW’s main market, is banning sales of new ICEs by 2035.

Don’t let Zipse’s statement at the conference make you think BMW isn’t interested in EVs. The company is developing the Neue Klasse platform for its next-generation electricity offering. The new Series 3 using these basics will arrive in 2025. More Neue Klasse products will arrive later.

The Neue Klasse-based 3 Series is rumored to have a longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs. To keep weight down, vehicles will make heavy use of aluminum, carbon fiber, and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The powertrain will include single or dual motor layouts for rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, respectively. The battery allegedly provides a range of more than 435 miles (700 kilometers).

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