AZUSA, CA – Gale Banks, president and founder of Banks Power in
Azusa, has been selected by BMW to road test its new advanced-technology showcase vehicle, the Hydrogen 7 sedan. The 12-cylinder, four-door luxury sedan is one of 100 BMW production-ready vehicles based on the 760i. The 260-horsepower, 6.0L sedan was adapted to run on liquid hydrogen to show the viability of the alternative fuel as perhaps the cleanest engine propellant out there.

Twenty of these vehicles are in use in the United States, with the rest seeing duty around the world as “ambassadors” of the new technology. The vehicles are being placed in the hands of well-known figures from business, sports, politics, and entertainment who will use them in everyday situations and report back about their experiences driving a car that “runs on the most plentiful element in the world and emits virtually nothing but water vapor.”

According to BMW CleanEnergy Program Director James Ryan, Banks was chosen because of his reputation as a futurist and his interest in clean-burning alternative fuels.

“He’ll have the car for a month or so, and we’re hoping that he both enjoys being one of our pioneer drivers and that he’ll give us his professional feedback on our car,” said Ryan. “The more people who experience using hydrogen for a fuel, the closer we’ll be to providing the infrastructure that will make widespread ownership possible.”

Banks plans to “do a little blogging” about the experience on his company’s Web site over the next month or more.