I got to admire and occasionally sit on a whole variety of vehicles ranging from the M6 roadster to several performance motorcycles. Moreover, the museum had some very cool displays – everything from James Bond’s Z4 to a concept model of the Z9. It was also really interesting to see some of the oldies – an early motorbike that completed the Paris-Dakar rally, engines as they have evolved from just after WWII to now, the BMW formula one car… lots of history, very elegantly presented and explained.
In the BMW Welt area, I saw the hydrogen car on display. The lady from BMW told me that it will still be at least a decade before something like it hits the streets. Still, they were serious enough about the idea to display it in their main showroom! Based on that display, and the conversation with this lady who explained it, it became quite clear that the success of these sorts of ideas depends so critically on external factors such as availability of hydrogen refuelling stations in remote places, safety and customer-friendliness of the systems required to store such materials in the pumping stations and on the vehicle, the econo-politics of the supply chain behind this fuel and the more conventional fossil fuels, etc. etc. This is way more than ‘just’ an engineering challenge. Compared to all this, even a company like BMW is just a small player!
All in all, a rainy day well spent.