Is the End of Combustion Engines in Sight?

Although electric vehicles are now fully part of the automotive landscape, hydrogen-powered cars still have a long way to go before becoming mainstream. In a recent post, our friends at Autocar quote BMW Group’s sales and marketing boss Ian Roberston on the matter.

BMW had been a leader in Hydrogen for years when it pulled the plug in the program over six years ago. However, as part of it’s recent tie-up with Toyota, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are back on the table with new test cars currently in development. Aside from the engineering challenges that represents such an undertaking, finding a cost-effective way to supply hydrogen is another obstacle to overcome before these cars can reach the marketplace.

Interestingly enough, the rapid advances in battery technology (i.e. charging time, range) are also “not helping” the development of hydrogen-powered BMWs. As more and more EVs populate roads across the globe, their sales fuel (no pun intended) R&D budgets thus accelerating the rate of learning to develop better batteries.

Robertson predicts that a future where electricity is the main focus for the Group, as opposed to combustion engines, is just 10 years away. We definitely live in a very interesting time and while these technological prowess are fascinating, I’m not really looking forward to a time when combustion engines become an endangered species. What do you think?

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  • BimmerFile_Michael

    I think supply constraints will continue to hinder the mass appeal of electric cars even more than the range anxiety. Batteries require rare earth minerals that just like oil are only found in certain locations around the globe and they may not always be easy to get (finding/political/environmental/etc.) and make the cost of the batteries high. I just bought some AA’s for what Santa is placing under the tree and it is astonishing how much those things cost- and those are low tech mass produced. Never mind the highly advanced cutting edge tech in the i3.

    Speaking of the i3- Our BFile i3 that I ordered and was to pick up in November is looking more like March now…. not to mention here in Germany there are no discounts or subsidies or tax breaks- I just love it and wanted one! Sometimes I miss the US 🙂

    Rumor is that BMW pulled the plug on the Hydrogen Car they were going to show in Detroit- It may not get the chance.