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BMW Puts Money Where Mouth Is By Using Hydrogen Forklifts

BMW has been developing hydrogen cars since 1979. Their latest vehicle is the dual fuel BMW Hydrogen 7 which can run on either compressed H2 gas or gasoline with the press of a button.

But, what has been missing from most of the major automaker’s lineup is the use of hydrogen fuel cell forklifts at the automakers assembly plants. Well, now BMW has decided to follow Nissan’s lead and buy fuel cell forklifts and palette trucks (at total of 85) for their newly opened Greer, South Carolina automotive manufacturing plant.

The Crown Equipment Corporation and Raymond Corporation actually manufactured the forklifts and palette trucks. The battery system was replaced by Plug Power’s GenDrive fuel cell units.

The Linde Corporation is supplying the hydrogen fueling system that includes 6 indoor fueling stations, so there will be no waiting in line to refuel. Refueling times are 1 to 3 minutes for the hydrogen forklifts compared to 20-plus minutes for swapping out lead acid batteries.

Some would say that it’s about time BMW put their money where their mouths are in regard to bringing hydrogen fueled vehicles into everyday use within their manufacturing facilities. One could also say its way past due for GM, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Honda to do the same.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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5 comments

  1. How is the hydrogen fuel generated? I would be interested to know since this seems to be one of the problems, to wit, you spend a good deal of energy generating the hydrogen that it becomes less ideal as an energy source. BMW often comes up with creative technological approaches [“Gina” for instance], so perhaps they did so here.

  2. I think it is great that BMW made this choice, but I think the bigger winners are the Crown Equipment Corporation and Raymond Corporation. Now that they have secured a high profile client such as BMW it should be that much easy to make future sales.

  3. Not sure who the supplier is but Fedex just announced today that it has converted 35 Electric forklifts to run on Hydrogen

  4. And how about adding some more images? I’m not trying to offend anyone, site is really great. But as I’ve heard visitors acquire info much more efficient if there are some helpful images.

    Jeff Tayfon

  5. The hydrogen gas supplier to BMW is Linde gas, incorporated. That means its made by steam reforming of natural gas.

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