Monday, December 4, 2006

Der Spiegel Catalogs Hydrogen ICE Green Myths

Titled "Not as Green as it Seems," Spiegel Online takes direct aim not only at BMW's vision of the future, but the entire hydrogen enterprise.

According to this review, "BMW has created an energy-guzzling engine that only seems to be environmentally friendly -- a farcical ecomobile whose only true merit is that of illustrating the cardinal dilemma of a possible hydrogen-based economy."

The article dissects the myth of clean, renewable hydrogen, and vividly explains the difficulty of storage.

"Advertizing images display the Hydrogen 7 against a backdrop of wind turbines and solar panels. But the image is one of deceit. Because the hydrogen dispensed at the new filling station is generated primarily from petroleum and natural gas, the new car puts about as much strain on the environment as a heavy truck with a diesel engine."

Similar to GM's plans for its hydrogen fuel cell Chevrolet, BMW plans to roll out 100 cars, lease only (sound familiar?), to get some real road experience. I took this car on a little drive in Sacramento in September at the CARB ZEVTech. Driving on hydrogen, the car is quite sluggish, at least on city streets. There is a noticeable delay, not unlike a slipping clutch, as you drive off. My RAV4 EV would beat it off the line!