Two years after unveiling the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT concept car, BMW will present the BMW iX5 Hydrogen at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich in September. Currently still in series development, the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with hydrogen fuel cell drive train will be one of several vehicles visitors can experience as they are driven along the Blue Lane connecting the main exhibition grounds with other exhibition venues in the city center.
A small series of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, developed on the basis of the BMW X5, will be used for demonstration and testing purposes from the end of next year.
With its high-performance fuel cell and optimized power battery, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen’s drive system is unique in the world. With this, we are forging new paths for sustainable driving pleasure.—Dr. Jürgen Guldner, head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects
With the right conditions, hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to become another pillar in the BMW Group’s drive train portfolio for local CO2-free mobility. The BMW i brand, which is entirely geared towards locally emission-free mobility, could in the future also offer vehicles with hydrogen fuel cell drive trains, in addition to battery-electric models such as the BMW i3, BMW iX3, BMW iX and BMW i4.
Provided the hydrogen is produced using renewable energy and the necessary infrastructure is available, this technology can complement the BMW Group’s electrified drive train portfolio— and, in particular, meet the needs of customers who do not have their own access to electric charging infrastructure, frequently drive long distances or desire a high degree of flexibility.
Model-specific design elements 3D-printed. The ornamental grilles covering the BMW kidney grille, the lower and two outer air inlets and the body elements for the lower rear end trim all come from the BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Campus, which uses 3D printing to produce prototype and standard parts. Additive manufacturing enables fast and highly flexible production of components—some of which have geometric shapes that cannot be realized with conventional production methods.
Aerodynamic wheels and tires made of natural rubber. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen’s aerodynamic wheels come with sustainably produced tyres made of natural rubber and rayon. The raw materials for this are extracted in compliance with the standards of the independent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) organisation. The BMW Group is the first automotive manufacturer worldwide to use Pirelli tyres made exclusively from certified natural rubber and the wood-based material rayon in its production vehicles.
Driving dynamics, strong long-distance capabilities. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen combines fuel cell technology with a fifth-generation BMW eDrive. The fuel cell delivers an electrical output of up to 125 kW/170 hp, with water vapor as the only emission. This drive power also enables it to maintain consistently high speeds over longer distances.
The electric motor was developed from the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology also used in the BMW iX. In coasting overrun and braking phases, it serves as a generator, feeding energy into a power battery. The energy stored in this power battery is also utilized for particularly sporty driving maneuvers—delivering a system output of 275 kW/374 hp and guaranteeing the brand’s signature driving experience.
The hydrogen needed to supply the fuel cell is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which together hold almost six kilograms of hydrogen.
Filling up the hydrogen tanks only takes three to four minutes, said Guldner.