Let's see: Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Jay Leno, Jeremy Piven, Will Ferrell, Placido Domingo. Oh, and Terry Tamminen. These are just some of the celebrities that BMW has convinced of the goodness of the dual fuel (gasoline and hydrogen) BMW Hydrogen 7. The next movie star to take the wheel of one of these luxury vehicles is Ed Norton - who is both an advocate for solar energy and was awesome in Fight Club. The celebs are taking part in BMW's "Hydrogen 7 Pioneer Program," a PR campaign that "gives industry leaders and prominent figures in entertainment, politics, business and more a BMW Hydrogen 7 for their daily use." The peons - that is, us - can only drive a Hydrogen 7 in rare instances, like around the block at special events. Still, the H7 is a production model, albeit one that is available only in limited quantities. Press release pasted after the jump.
EDWARD NORTON SET TO DRIVE THE BMW HYDROGEN 7 ON U.S. ROADWAYS
Norton Joins Will Ferrell, Jay Leno and Others To Be Among the First Americans to Hit the Roads In BMW's Hydrogen-Powered Vehicle
Woodcliff, NJ - February 27, 2008... BMW today announced that highly respected film actor and renewable energy advocate Edward Norton is the latest person to receive keys to a BMW Hydrogen 7 - the first hydrogen-powered luxury sedan. The Golden Globe winner and two-time Academy Award nominee becomes the most recent member of the BMW Hydrogen 7 Pioneer Program, which gives industry leaders and prominent figures in entertainment, politics, business and more a BMW Hydrogen 7 for their daily use.
"The excitement of this car to me is that it demonstrates what we're capable of, and it inspires me to keep advocating for a more sustainable way of life," said Norton.
While Norton is widely known for his prolific and acclaimed acting career – which includes memorable roles in films such as Primal Fear (1996), for which he won a Golden Globe and received his first Oscar nomination; The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996); American History X (1998), for which he earned his second Oscar nod; and the critically acclaimed Fight Club (1999); among many others – Norton has also become a leading voice in the area of solar energy.
In 2003, Norton teamed up with oil giant and leading solar-panel producer BP to develop the Solar Neighbors Program, which aims to get photovoltaic (PV) panels onto low-income homes in Los Angeles. Norton brought star power to the cause with support from fellow celebrities – like Brad Pitt, who has also opted for the BMW Hydrogen 7 as his green ride of choice. Within its first year the program succeeded in getting resources for dozens of solar installations for inner-city families.
While the BMW Hydrogen 7 is not for sale, it is considered to be a milestone in bringing forward hydrogen as the sustainable fuel for individual transportation. Running in hydrogen mode, the BMW Hydrogen 7 essentially emits nothing but water vapor, representing a major step in reducing harmful CO2 emissions. It is not a concept car, but a production model vehicle that has successfully completed the entire Product Development Process.
BMW believes that hydrogen will replace petroleum as the long-term alternative to fossil fuel, and hopes the Hydrogen 7 will play a pioneering role in driving forward the hydrogen technologies that will ensure our mobility in the future. By harnessing the power and influence of individuals who, like Norton, are at the forefront of their respective disciplines, BMW hopes to continue to generate support of hydrogen-drive vehicles in the short term and stimulate demand for a viable hydrogen infrastructure in the long-term.
A number of entertainers, politicians, business leaders and more have already opted for a BMW Hydrogen 7 as their energy-efficient ride of choice in order to evaluate the technology. Those who have recently chosen the vehicle include previously announced members of the BMW Hydrogen 7 Pioneer Program: Will Ferrell, Jay Leno, opera star Placid Domingo and famed director Steve Gaghan, among others. Other notable figures who have opted for rides in a BMW Hydrogen 7 include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the "Ocean's 13" premiere in Hollywood; Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori at the FOX All-Star Party in Santa Monica; Richard Gere and Sharon Stone at the Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin; and "An Inconvenient Truth" producer Davis Guggenheim (Oscar® for the best Documentary Feature) and Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® winner, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck at the 2007 Academy Awards. The vehicle has also made an impact oversees, with luminaries such as Michael Glos, German Federal Minister for Economy and Technology, and Günter Verheugen, Vice President of the European Commission, world renowned soprano Anna Netrebko and many others.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the upcoming X6 Sport Activity Coupe. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 82 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: