BMW unveiled the road-ready iX5 Hydrogen at the Munich Motor Show 2021, which sets the stage for a more widespread introduction of FCEV technology by the end of the decade.
The iX5 Hydrogen is equipped with the most powerful fuel cell stack ever seen in a passenger vehicle, with 125kW, and is based on Toyota’s engine technology, which was adapted to fit the X5. A hydrogen tank lies below the rear seats and another one sits underneath the transmission tunnel. On the rear axle, a 369hp electric motor and 150kW battery booster are powered by the 6kg of hydrogen stored in these stacks at a pressure of 700 bar.
BMW believes that the car’s range is adequate for refuelling with hydrogen, at 500km. A plug-in hybrid iX5 weighs approximately the same as an iX5 Hydrogen. In addition to the exterior and interior details that set it apart from the X5, the iX5 hydrogen gets a design theme and trim package from BMW’s other I models. Additionally, 22-inch alloy wheels and environmentally-friendly rubber tyres are available.
iX5 Hydrogen won’t be available to the general public, but its successor will be. BMW will instead conduct a live trial of the new technology to better understand how it is used, similar to what it did with the original Mini E and BEVs before launching its i sub-brand.
Despite the company’s problems with fuel cells, Jürgen Guldner, CEO of BMW’s hydrogen company, says the company is convinced that another energy carrier will be needed in the future. Hydrogen is that technology. A BMW spokesperson confirmed that the automaker is working on BEV architectures that are also compatible with FCEV styles, by using slim hydrogen tanks that can accommodate the battery packs on the floor.
Munich Motor Show attendees saw that BMW is putting a lot of focus on fuel cell and battery electric technology for its future global product portfolio. However, BMW is yet to venture into the luxury EV space in India. BMW has yet to fully electrify its vehicles in India, unlike its arch-rivals Mercedes, Jaguar, and Audi.