BMW i3 To Get Fuel Cell Version With Toyota Tech?

Follow Antony

2014 BMW i3

2014 BMW i3

Enlarge Photo

In 2015, Japanese automaker Toyota will make a fuel-cell vehicle available to the public.

It has worked on the project with German firm BMW, itself planning a fuel-cell vehicle--and that vehicle could now be a fuel-cell version of the i3 electric car.

According to Motoring, Toyota USA's advanced vehicle boss, Craig Scott "intimated strongly" that the i3 would be recipient of Toyota's fuel-cell tech.

"We know... where they're headed" said Scott of Toyota's partnership with BMW.

READ: New Lithium-Ion Battery Uses Peroxide To Boost Energy Density By 7 Times: Report

He adds that crash test regulations will play a large part in whether BMW can package the Toyota-developed fuel-cell technology into a car like the i3.

The 2014 BMW i3 currently has a choice of battery electric and range-extended electric drivetrains. Each uses a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery--of which 18.8 kWh is listed as usable--and power to the road is transmitted by a 130 kW (170 horsepower) electric motor.

In all-electric trim the i3 will do 81 miles on a charge, in EPA testing, while the range-extended car or REx manages 72 miles on electricity and 150 miles after the two-cylinder engine kicks in.

2016 Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

2016 Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Enlarge Photo

The car was designed from the outset as an electric vehicle, utilizing a lightweight carbon-fiber structure with aluminum subframes to hold drivetrain components.

Depending on the adaptability of Toyota's fuel-cell system, the cell itself and the car's hydrogen tanks could feasibly be stowed within the i3's chassis--but this remains to be seen.

Scott, meanwhile, has provided a few more details on Toyota's approach to its own fuel-cell vehicle--which could carry the name 'Mirai', Japanese for 'future'.

He says a three-box sedan design was deliberately chosen for its normalcy, and that the cabin will be relatively conventional--making the car feel little different from driving a Corolla or Camry.

It drives "remarkably like" a conventional car but a low center of gravity, like that on electric cars, should still ensure competent handling.

Scott also says that Toyota plans to have three fuel-cell cars on the market within the next decade.

[hat tip: John C. Briggs]


Follow GreenCarReports on FacebookTwitter and Google+

Follow Us

New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.

Find Green Cars



© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.