BMW, GM jointly develop fuel coupling system for hydrogen vehicles

Munich/Detroit. BMW and General Motors have set up a joint venture to develop a standard coupling system for the fueling of liquid hydrogen vehicles.

Christoph Huss, director of science and transportation policies at BMW group, said both groups hope that "this fueling system, the coupling being the main component, will become a worldwide standard."

Other automobile manufacturers and suppliers are being invited to join the consortium.

Most of BMW and General Motors' work will center on a coupling device that connects the pump to the car and allows the tank to be filled with supercold liquid hydrogen.

Huss said the cooperation would concentrate on creating global standards and developing specifications for suppliers. He estimates that in the long term there will be "a nationwide network of approximately 10,000 liquid hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany."

Both BMW and General Motors hope to launch liquid hydrogen fueled cars by 2010. General Motors' aim is to become the first manufacturer to sell a million fuel cell powered vehicles worldwide.

In order to build a nationwide infrastructure there has to be extensive cooperation throughout the auto industry, said to Udo Winter, chief engineer for automobile fuel-cell applications at GM Fuel Cell Activities.

He said: "Only through cooperation in development and standardization of liquid hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and by setting up a partnership with suppliers, can hydrogen soon become the fuel of the future worldwide."

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