Although BMW will launch a test fleet of X5 and X7 fuel cell variants in 2021, it remains convinced that battery power is the right choice when creating zero-emissions passenger cars.
"The development we expect for battery density would make BEVs [battery-electric vehicles] the most-efficient solution," Klaus Froelich, BMW Group board member for development, said on the sidelines of the company's NextGen event in Munich on June 25.
A fuel cell vehicle is an electric vehicle where the fuel cell replaces the battery as the source of electric power.
Cost is the biggest issue. Froelich said a fuel cell powertrain is 10 times more expensive than a full-electric one. The prices will not be comparable until about 2025, he said.
Toyota, which has been working on fuel cell development with BMW since 2013, believes the prices of fuel cell cars will match those of hybrids within 10 years.
Toyota's first-generation fuel cell car, the Mirai sedan, starts at 78,600 euros in Germany.