This technology sounds complicated, and it’s certainly not a walk in the park, but it’s simpler than embedding an oil refinery into a premium compact crossover. Karma joined forces with Denmark-based Blue World Technologies in a bid to make it a reality. In a nutshell, the system is built around a methanol fuel cell that can be filled about as quickly as a standard gasoline tank. The chemical then goes through a methanol reformer that turns it into hydrogen, which is subsequently used to generate the electricity that turns the car’s wheels.
Both parties noted that methanol is a hydrogen carrier. Neither revealed the transformation’s byproduct, however.
BMW, < a href="https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/31/toyota-lunar-cruiser/" data-ylk="elm:context_link;itc:0;pos:1;sec:donut-hole;cpos:8;">Toyota
Karma and Blue World Technologies plan to install their methanol-powered drivetrain in a fleet of GSe-6 sedans before the end of 2021. Testing will take place in the United States and in Denmark. What’s happens after that largely depends on whether the testing phase goes smoothly. If everything works, the two partners will likely nudge the system toward production, though we don’t know how much it will cost to fine-tune or build.
We’ve seen cars powered by a fuel that they produce before. Motorists, carmakers, and suppliers experimented with vehicles that ran on wood, coal, or both during and immediately after World War II. One of the more common systems consisted of a sizable woodstove attached to a car’s body. Burning wood — preferably birch or oak; nothing too resinous — produced a flammable syngas that replaced gasoline once cooled and filtered.