BMW to put a few hydrogen cars on the road next year

The cars of the future are here! Sorta. BMW announced yesterday that it will distribute about 100 hydrogen-powered 7-Series sedans to select drivers in the U.S. and E.U. in early 2007. The cars, which can travel about 125 miles before switching to gasoline, maintain BMW’s sporty image: they go from zero to 62 in 9.5 seconds, with a top speed of 143 mph. The 7-Series recipients will be people who “have a potential impact on making a hydrogen economy happen,” says a BMW spokesperson. Ooh, pick us, pick us! BMW is still “very far away from mass production” of the cars, according to another spokesperson; the technology is hampered by the need for two separate fuel tanks and the lack of a hydrogen-fuel manufacturing industry and fuel storage and distribution system. Says BMW’s Raymond Freymann: “The technology is still in its early stages. But there will be a revolution when it finally arrives.”