Toyota And BMW To Announce Hydrogen-Alliance

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota and bmw to announce hydrogen alliance

Will meet again: Fröhlich and Uchiyamada

Rumors are floating around in Tokyo that Toyota and BMW are about to enter an agreement where Toyota will provide its fuel cell technology to the Bavarian maker. The Nikkei [sub] says BMW plans to build a hydrogen prototype by 2015, and wants to have a hydrogen car ready for market by 2020. Other carmakers, Toyota included, plan a limited market release in the “hydrogen year” 2015, with hopes for volume production by 2020.

Toyota spokesfolk did not want to comment, then sent out an invitation for a press conference tomorrow, Thursday, in Nagoya. BMW also happens to be there. Looking at the executives in attendance, it does not appear like a meeting where joint windshield wiper procurement is discussed: On the BMW side will be Klaus Fröhlich, Strategy SVP at BMW and chief ideologue, along with development chief Dr. Herbert Diess. The Toyota side will be similarly high tech-laden with Toyota’s “father of the Prius” Takeshi Uchiyamada in attendance. Yasumori Ihara will represent Toyota Purchasing and the board. TTAC will also be there.

The move does not come as a surprise to us. Last June, we told you that “BMW will get access to Toyota’s fuel cell technologies” and that this will be “the end of the fuel cell cooperation between BMW and GM.” We told you that Toyota is far ahead with the technology. TTAC even had a short hydrogen-powered test ride through the scenic warehouse landscape of Torrance, CA. We told you that current fuel cell technology is big, bulky, heavy and expensive, and that Toyota is working on bringing package size and price down to tolerable levels. We’ll know more tomorrow.

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  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jan 23, 2013

    There are no pure hydrogen molecules on earth. Hydrogen is very abundant, but is tightly bonded with other elements. Reversing that chemical bond takes a lot of energy. Methane appears to be the least inefficent method of obtaining pure hydrogen. Reforming hydrogen from methane removes the carbon molecule. This has two drawbacks: 1- How are you going to eventually dispose of all the carbon? Burn it? 2- The energy released from oxydizing carbon is very large. Removing the carbon molecule means that you've lost a significant amount of useful energy from methane. Hydrogen-fueled vehicles are an even longer stretch of the imagination than a pure battery powered vehicle. This is an example of green extremism gone amok.

    • Corntrollio Corntrollio on Jan 23, 2013

      "This is an example of green extremism gone amok." That's non-sense. It's ridiculous to suggest that merely researching alternative fuels is green extremism. No one is forcing anyone to use it. BMW has been working on a hydrogen-based Siebener for a long time -- makes sense that they'd team up with Toyota on this.

  • Type57SC Type57SC on Jan 23, 2013

    Deja vu. I feel like I've seen the same stories and had the same discussion in 2001.

    • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Jan 24, 2013

      +1 Production-quantity fuel-cell-powered vehicles are always ten years away from reality. They recycle the same press releases and just change the dates.

  • Tassos Before you rush to buy this heap of rusty metal, maybe you should wait a day or two.I hear Tim will have an Model T next time.
  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)