BMW to trial

hydrogen powered iX5

BMW iX5 Hydrogen, 2022, fuel cell
BMW iX5 Hydrogen, 2022, production line
BMW iX5 Hydrogen, 2022, refuelling

BMW is to start production of a test fleet of hydrogen powered iX5 sports activity vehicles.

The first such vehicle to feature hydrogen fuel cell technology has already completed an intensive programme of testing during its development phase and will now be used as a technology demonstrator for locally carbon-free mobility in selected regions from spring 2023.

"Hydrogen is a versatile energy source that has a key role to play as we progress towards climate neutrality," saidFrank Weber, member of the board of management of BMWAG responsible for development.

"We are certain that hydrogen is set to gain significantly in importance for individual mobility and therefore consider a mixture of battery and fuel cell electric drive systems to be a sensible approach in the long term. Fuel cells don't require any critical raw materials such as cobalt, lithium or nickel either, so by investing in this type of drive system we are also strengthening the geopolitical resilience of the BMW Group.

"Our BMW iX5 Hydrogen test fleet will allow us to gain new and valuable insights, enabling us to present customers with an attractive product range once the hydrogen economy becomes a widespread reality."

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is being built in the BMW Group's pilot plant at its Research and Innovation Centre in Munich and uses base vehicles supplied by the BMW factory In Spartanburg in the United States where the X5 is produced.

They are fitted with a new floor assembly in the pilot plant's body shop that makes it possible to accommodate the two hydrogen tanks in the centre tunnel and under the rear seat unit.

Themodel-specific 12V and 400V electrical systems, high-performance battery, electric motor and fuel cell are all integratedduring the assembly stage, alongside standard production parts.

Positioned in the rear axle area together with the high-performance battery, the electric motor is a product of the current, fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology also employed in battery electric and plug-in hybrid models from BMW.

The fuel cell systems located under the bonnet of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen have been manufactured at BMW's in-house competence centre for hydrogen in Garching to the north of Munich since August this year.

BMW says the iX5 Hydrogen combines all the benefits of a locally emission-free drive system with everyday usability and long-distance capabilities which makes its hydrogen fuel cell technology an attractive complementary alternative to the battery electric drive system.


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