“The hydrogen fuel cell technology could become the fourth pillar of our powertrain portfolio in the long term,” says Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. To drive development of the technology forward, the BMW Group is releasing a small series based on the current BMW X5 onto the roads in 2022.
In autumn 2019, the time had come: The BMW Group presented the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT to the public for the first time at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) – underlining our company’s commitment to a carefully considered plan for emission-free mobility. “We are convinced that various alternative powertrain systems will exist alongside one another in future, as there is no single solution that addresses the full spectrum of customers’ mobility requirements worldwide,” said Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. As part of its “Power of Choice” strategy, the BMW Group takes different market and customer needs into account. The hydrogen fuel cell drive train could become the fourth pillar in the BMW Group’s drive train portfolio, alongside battery-electric drive trains, plug-in hybrids and combustion engines. The upper-end models in our X family would make particularly suitable candidates here.
Small series from 2022.
The BMW Group will pilot the second generation of its hydrogen fuel cell drive train in a small series of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, based on the current BMW X5. Depending on market requirements and conditions, the earliest the company will offer a production vehicle for customers would be in the second half of this decade. Until then, many places will lack the necessary infrastructure – such as a Europe-wide network of hydrogen filling stations offering sustainably generated “green hydrogen” at competitive prices.
The fuel cell system in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT delivers up to 125 kW (170 hp) of electric power, obtained from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen from the air. All the vehicle emits from its exhaust is steam. Two 700-bar tanks, holding a total six of kilograms of hydrogen, guarantee a long independent of weather conditions range and can be refilled in just three to four minutes. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT integrates the BMW Group’s fifth-generation electric drive train used for the first time in the new BMW iX3 for release in the next few months. The peak power battery is additionally charged via brake energy recuperation and ensures more dynamic acceleration. The drive system has a total output of 275 kW (374 hp).
Cooperation with Toyota continues.
The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT already uses fuel cells from the cooperation with Toyota. We have been working with the Toyota Motor Corporation since 2013, focusing on development and industrialisation of fuel cell technology and its usability for the mass market. The so-called “fuel cell stack” and the overall system are original BMW Group developments.