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BMW's Fleet of Hydrogen Powered 7 Series Cars Comes to America

    WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 8 The BMW Group announced today
that its fleet of hydrogen powered BMW 750hL sedans will be coming to the
United States on July 12th of this year providing members of the media and
public alike the opportunity to experience the world's first fleet of
production-based, hydrogen powered cars.  As a reflection of BMW's commitment
to making hydrogen power a reality, the first-hand experience of these cars
will be accompanied by a panel discussion, when the fleet arrives in Los
Angeles, California.
    The Los Angeles event is part of the BMW CleanEnergy World Tour.  The
first stop on the tour will take place in Dubai on January 31, 2001.
Countries like Dubai in the sunbelt of the earth may produce  hydrogen fuel
using sea water and solar energy in the nearby future.  From there it will
make stops in Milan, Tokyo and Brussels before arriving in Los Angeles,
California on July 12, 2001.
    The BMW Group unveiled its fleet of 15 hydrogen-powered 750hLs in Berlin
in May, 2000.  The world was given the opportunity to see and experience these
vehicles during EXPO2000, the world's fair in Hanover, Germany, throughout
this past summer.  The production-based BMW 750hL represents the culmination
of 30 years of research and development of hydrogen-powered automobiles.  It
offers a practical solution to the desire to make emission-free vehicles
available to the public.  The BMW Group, as a company, has been recognized for
its forward thinking approach to environmental issues.  It also remains
enthusiastically committed to providing an exhilarating driving experience.
    That is why the BMW 750hL is powered not by a fuel cell, but by a
production-based, liquid hydrogen-powered V12 internal combustion engine.
There are many advantages to the internal combustion engine.  The weight of
the vehicle would be increased significantly by the combination of the fuel
cell and an electric motor.  Fuel cells take up a significant amount of space
making a conventional design all but impossible.  There are also sizable cost
disadvantages associated with the fuel cells.
    On the other hand, the internal combustion, liquid hydrogen V12 in the BMW
750hL provides a driving experience that would make even the most ardent BMW
enthusiast feel very much at home.  The desire to drive an
environmentally-friendly vehicle should not come at the expense of
practicality.  In addition to the familiarity offered by an internal
combustion engine, the use of liquid hydrogen provides another major
advantage. With 37 gallons of liquid hydrogen onboard, the 750hL has a range
of 250 miles.  Achieving the same range from a tank a gaseous hydrogen would
require far more space. There is currently only one public liquid hydrogen
refueling station, which is located at the Munich airport.  Therefore, out of
practical necessity, the 750hL is designed to also run on gasoline, in case
the supply of hydrogen runs out before a refueling station can be reached.
This dual fuel capability would not be possible using gaseous hydrogen.
    Hydrogen has yet another advantage.  Using solar power, it will be
possible to produce hydrogen fuel without emissions.  This represents the
ultimate goal of the completely clean vehicle.
    The BMW CleanEnergy WorldTour event in Los Angeles will provide government
officials, the media and members of academia the opportunity to not only
experience the real world capabilities of the 750hL, but also to engage in a
dialogue that will advance the cause of hydrogen power.  The BMW Group will
present the case for the liquid hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine.
    Los Angeles was chosen as the site for the US BMW CleanEnergy WorldTour
because California's long-standing commitment to reducing vehicle tailpipe
emissions has lead to a great deal of research being carried out with hydrogen
power in that state.  At the event's conclusion, part of the BMW 750hL fleet
will remain behind at BMW's Research and Engineering Center in Oxnard,
California for extended evaluation and research.

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