Tinkering with hydrogen power for quite some time now, the BMW iX5 has now been through a rigorous testing phase in the desert of Dubai to ensure its ability remains unhindered in hot and humid weather. The automaker has plans on scaling this technology to all forms of mobility in the future.
As part of a pilot fleet that was launched in February this year, the BMW iX5 has since been undergoing intensive hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates. The Bavarian automaker states: “The car’s fuel cell drive system performed impressively in the face of temperatures rising to 45°C, as well as sand and dust, varying gradients and significant fluctuations in humidity.”
The goal of the testing phase was to ensure all of the hardware, including two hydrogen tanks, an electric motor and the power battery operated at a satisfactory level in the gruelling conditions. Over and above this, at the temperatures, the BMW iX5 had its full performance tested to ensure it can be delivered in similar real-world conditions.
All of this has been part of a series of tests that the German automaker has subjected their pilot fleet to which includes cold weather conditions in the Arctic too. The pilot fleet is currently testing all around the world including Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA and now for the first time; the Middle East. The BMW iX5 serves as a testbed for the technology that the automaker plans on scaling into passenger cars, small vans, buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles too.
As a recap, the SUV boasts a fuel cell system which generates 125 kW and a highly integrated drive unit using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology (the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are grouped together in a compact housing). Combined, the BMW iX5 boasts 295 kW and requires 700-bar tanks made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic to power the fuel cell. The total of 6 kg of hydrogen stored in the tanks can provide the SUV with a range of 504 km in the WLTP cycle.