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](http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/bmw-confirms-hydrogen-car-development) quote BMW Group’s sales and marketing boss Ian Roberston on the matter. His opinions and subsequently the opinions and BMW and MINI may surprise you.
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. Basically BMW and MINI are perhaps just a decade away from ceasing development of the internal combustion engine. That doesn’t mean they’ll stop selling them. It just means that we won’t see entirely new engine families or even large iterations of existing ones ever again.
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?