As an additional option for sustainable individual mobility, BMW are still investing in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Munich plays host to the IAA Mobility 2021 where BMW is set to present the BMW iX5 Hydrogen as one of several vehicles that visitors will be able to experience while being driven along the Blue Lane which will the main exhibition grounds with other exhibition venues in the city centre.
Based on the BMW X5, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen has been developed on the basis of the premium SUV and will be used for demonstration and testing purposes from the end of next 2022. Juergen Guldner, head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects noted, “With its high-performance fuel cell and optimised power battery, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen’s drive system is unique in the world.”
The powertrain uses hydrogen as fuel by converting it into electricity in the fuel cell – delivering an electrical output of up to 125 kW with water vapour as the only emission.
BMW iX5 Hydrogen is also able to maintain consistently high speeds over longer distances, with the electric motor having been developed from the fifth-generation of BMW eDrive technology, the same technology that is used in the BMW iX. In coasting overrun and braking phases, the electric motor serves as a generator, feeding energy into a battery. The energy stored in this battery is also utilised during spirited driving, delivering an impressive system output of 275 kW.
Guldner explains, “Filling up the hydrogen tanks only takes three to four minutes – so there are no limits on using the BMW iX5 Hydrogen for long distances, with just a few, short stops in-between.” Impressively, the system holds a total of almost 6 kilograms of hydrogen which feeds the fuel cell – this hydrogen is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.
BMW iX5 Hydrogen’s tyres are made of natural rubber and rayon, the raw materials of which are extracted in compliance with the standards of the independent Forest Stewardship Council, a world-first for a production car.
With help from both the European Union and the German Government, BMW Group hopes to remain a major player in helping to build a hydrogen economy and accelerate the production of green hydrogen, in particular for use in the automotive sector.