Critics call hydrogen BMW a "PR stunt"

BMW's recent announcement of a production-ready hydrogen-powered 7-Series came as a surprise to auto enthusiasts and science buffs alike, but columnist Rich Smith of The Motley Fool isn't impressed. Smith calls the introduction of the Hydrogen 7 "a PR stunt." Why? He says a hydrogen combustion engine is a far cry from a hydrogen fuel cell, which generates power to drive an electric motor. He also argues the price tag of such a vehicle would be highly prohibitive, citing the fact that Toyota values its hydrogen fuel cell prototypes at $1 million. The Leftlane Perspective: Smith might make some valid arguments, but there's no doubt a hydrogen combustion engine would be considerably less expensive than fuel cell system. What's more, Mr. Smith fails to realize that driving enthusiasts -- a big portion of BMW's customer base -- seem to prefer the experience of a combustion engine to that of an electric motor.