This is all thanks to that joint partnership with Toyota.
For the time being, hydrogen fuel cell cars are rare and quite expensive. A general lack of hydrogen refueling stations also doesn't help things. However, Toyota is going ahead with its recently unveiled Mirai, and Honda is also at work developing a successor to the FCX Clarity. And now BMW is jumping on the hydrogen bandwagon. It'll soon begin testing hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars with technology co-developed by, no surprise here, Toyota. Remember when the BMW-Toyota joint sports car project was announced?
The two automakers also mentioned something about working together on other technologies. Hydrogen fuel-cells were apparently on that list. According to BMW's sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson, it's also entirely possible this hydrogen Bimmer will never even make production. It basically depends on several factors, such as advancements in battery technologies. "We've said we'll continue to invest in hydrogen and that will result in a small number of production test vehicles being made to prove the technology works. The real issues lie not around what we can do, though, but whether the infrastructure can be built up to supply hydrogen in the marketplace cost-effectively," Robertson stated.
If, however, advances in lithium-ion technologies accelerate to a level that will "see charging time and range worries disappear," then the business case for hydrogen will be pretty much a goner. If BMW were to go ahead with a production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, it'd join the existing 'i' range of cars and would share much of its technology with the Mirai.