Listen to this article

BMW has announced a breakthrough in fuel cell car development as they have discovered a new method to compress hydrogen.

The new technique to compress hydrogen is still a work in progress and will need a few years to perfect, but BMW mentions that once the technology will be optimized it will enable a car to cover more than 435 miles (700 km) before the hydrogen tanks will need a refill. This new method will compress the hydrogen at extremely low temperatures in order to increase its storage volume and this will be possible by installing a Toyota-developed fuel cell stack as a base.

Speaking to Reuters at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show, the company’s head of fuel cell development Merten Jung said the system will be launched “sometime after 2020” and he specified it will be incorporated in a “long distance car, a larger sedan” as the technology is tailored to bigger vehicles. This means BMW’s fuel cell model will be larger than the recently introduced Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

Jung told the media that it’s unlikely BMW and Toyota will work together on a fuel cell vehicle as the two companies target different markets, so although the hydrogen setup will be largely shared, everything else is going to be differentiated.

Gallery: BMW announces new method to compress hydrogen that significantly increases fuel cell car range

Got a tip for us? Email: