BMW Turns To Hydrogen

Tue 6th Sep 2022

German premium car manufacturer BMW is the latest automotive brand to switch to hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative solution to the sustainable fuel debate.

BMW announced this week that they will produce a limited number of iX5 Hydrogen car which will be tested in a range of environments around the world.

“As a versatile energy source, hydrogen has a key role to play on the road to climate neutrality. And it will also gain substantially in importance as far as personal mobility is concerned. We think hydrogen-powered vehicles are ideally placed technologically to fit alongside battery-electric vehicles and complete the electric mobility picture,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, in Munich this week. “By commencing small-scale production of fuel cells today, we are demonstrating the technical maturity of this type of drive system and underscoring its potential for the future.”

The new hydrogen powertrain will be built at the company’s Munich competence centre, with the FCEV powertrain featuring a fuel cell, two hydrogen tanks combined with a fifth-generation BMW electric motor. The individual fuel cells will be provided by Toyota, the two companies have collaborated on hydrogen development for the past decade.

The iX5 Hydrogen has already been road tested in winter conditions in Sweden earlier this year and will no be taken around the world to Japan, China, the United States and South Korea.

It’s thought that recent developments in the technology have increased the efficiency of the fuel cells.

Frank Weber, BMW board member, said: “We have managed to more than double the fuel cell’s continuous output in the second-generation fuel cell in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, while weight and size have both decreased drastically.”