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BMW Unveils iX5 Hydrogen: The Future of Clean Energy Vehicles

BMW iX5 Hydrogen: The New Face of Sustainable Mobility

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has entered a critical phase in its development. The first models from a fleet of less than 100 vehicles are now being tested in real-world conditions. This is a milestone in the journey towards potential series production of the hydrogen-powered BMW vehicle.

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Hydrogen as a Key Energy Source

Hydrogen is a versatile and efficient energy carrier with the potential to play a significant role in the transition to clean energy and climate protection. According to Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG, hydrogen is the “missing piece in the jigsaw” of emission-free mobility. This advanced technology could accelerate the transformation of the mobility sector towards sustainability.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen: A Technological Marvel

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is based on the BMW X5 and was first unveiled in 2019 at the IAA show. The vehicle’s hydrogen fuel cell system demonstrates BMW’s expertise in electric drive technologies. BMW aims to establish hydrogen fuel cell technology as an additional option for locally emission-free mobility.

Fuel Cell System: The Heart of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen

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BMW produces fuel cell systems for the BMW iX5 Hydrogen at its competence centre for hydrogen in Munich. The system operates through a chemical reaction between gaseous hydrogen and oxygen. The fuel cell system yields a high continuous output of 125 kW/170 hp.

The fuel cell stack is assembled through a highly automated process. The cells are compressed using a machine exerting a force of five tonnes and then housed in a light metal casing. The final assembly includes a voltage test and extensive testing of the chemical reactions within the cells.

BMW and Toyota: A Partnership in Innovation

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BMW sources individual fuel cells from Toyota Motor Corporation. This long-standing partnership has been instrumental in developing fuel cell drive systems since 2013. The fuel cell system is completed by integrating other components, such as a high-speed compressor and a high-voltage coolant pump.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen: Performance and Efficiency

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen combines a highly integrated drive unit using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology with a power battery featuring lithium-ion technology. This combination enables the vehicle to achieve a maximum output of 295kW / 401 hp. The vehicle also recaptures energy during the coasting and braking phases, feeding it back into the power battery.

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The hydrogen required for the fuel cell is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic. These tanks hold approximately six kilograms of hydrogen, enabling the BMW iX5 Hydrogen to achieve a range of 504 km (313 miles) in the WLTP cycle. Refuelling the hydrogen tanks takes only three to four minutes, ensuring long-distance driving pleasure with minimal stops.

Commitment to Decarbonisation

BMW Group has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. By 2030, BMW aims to have fully electric vehicles account for more than 50% of its overall sales. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) technology, such as that used in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, is seen as a potential addition to battery-electric vehicles.

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Hydrogen and a CO2-Free Future

Hydrogen’s potential as a future energy source is recognised globally, with most industrialised countries developing hydrogen strategies. The transition to hydrogen as a fuel source will rely on the production of sufficient quantities of green hydrogen and the expansion of related infrastructure. The BMW Group supports initiatives that promote the creation of a hydrogen economy and the expansion of related infrastructure.

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