BMW gives hydrogen models the green light
The BMW iX5 hydrogen models will be the first to enter testing and demonstrations before year-end
New BMW iX5 hydrogen models will enter service around the world from the end of this year for test and demonstration purposes. The combination of a fuel cell and high-performance battery is set to enrich the company’s portfolio by adding another drive system for the premium segment.
The BMW Group started hydrogen development from 2015 with the BMW 5 Series GT Hydrogen Cell based on fuel cell technology. It will now be manufacturing fuel cell systems in-house.
A chemical reaction takes place in the fuel cell between hydrogen from the tanks and oxygen from the air. Maintaining a steady supply of both elements to the fuel cell’s membrane is of crucial importance for the drive system’s efficiency.
Additionally, BMW has also developed special hydrogen components for its new fuel cell system. These include the high-speed compressor with turbine and high-voltage coolant pump, for instance.
The individual fuel cells required for manufacturing the BMW iX5 Hydrogen are sourced from Toyota. The two companies have collaborated on fuel cell drive systems since 2013.
The team incorporated the powerful drive system — comprising two hydrogen tanks, the fuel cell and the electric motor — into the existing BMW X5 for the small production run.
The fuel cell teams up with an electric motor and a high-performance battery to deliver 275kW of power. BMW says the model has successfully demonstrated its everyday usability, even at very low temperatures, during the final round of winter testing in Sweden earlier this year.
As a versatile energy source, hydrogen has a key role to play on the road to climate neutrality and will also gain substantially in importance as far as personal mobility is concerned, says BMW head Oliver Zipse.
“We think hydrogen-powered vehicles are ideally placed technologically to fit alongside battery-electric vehicles and complete the electric mobility picture.
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