BMW's fuel cell coming after 2020

FCEV Will Probably Be Large, Have Long Range

Honda made news earlier this week at the Tokyo Motor Show by announcing details of the what will be its first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle earmarked for the US next year. As for BMW? Not so fast.

The German automaker might start working on a fuel cell vehicle for one of its larger sedan lines, but don't expect it to see the light of day before 2020, Reuters reports, citing remarks made by BMW executive Merten Jung in Tokyo. Bimmer has been collaborating with Toyota on advancing fuel-cell technology since 2013, but any production vehicle from BMW would take place after that collaboration expires. In fact, one point Jung made was that the BMW fuel cell would be able to go further on a full tank (of hydrogen) than the Toyota Mirai's 300+ miles.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that BMW may have a fuel-cell vehicle ready before the end of the decade, and that it would likely be sold under Bimmer's i brand of advanced-powertrain vehicles. Additionally, this summer, videos started coming out showing a hydrogen fuel cell i8 prototype (a rather sporty one, actually) as well as a 5-series prototype, so getting a handle on BMW's plans for fuel cell vehicles is a bit of a moving target.

As for Honda, the Clarity will be earmarked for fleet and business customers in Japan first before marketing starts for everyday drivers. We've got some brief first-hand impressions of what it's like to drive a Clarity prototype here.

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