German car brand BMW has joined the ranks of several others, namely Hyundai and Toyota. All of them are looking to develop hydrogen as an alternative to petrol power. Ever since the 2040 global zero emission mandate was announced, several automakers have developed purely electric vehicles but others like BMW, are doing electric but are also working on hydrogen as another source of renewable energy.
Both Oliver Zipse (Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG) and Frank Weber (Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development) have come together to inaugurate fuel cell system production at the brand’s Competence Centre for Hydrogen in Munich. A small series of BMW iX5 Hydrogen cars will be entering the testing phase and will be on demonstration to further develop their combination of hydrogen fuel cell and high-performance battery to bring a unique form of a drive system for the premium segment.
With BMW playing a pioneering and visionary role in this technology, they believe that hydrogen-powered vehicles will fit right alongside battery-electric vehicles and will complete the electric mobility picture as stated by Oliver Zipse.
According to BMW, the iX5 Hydrogen fuel cell can generate a continuous output of 125 kW which translates to 170 PS. Partnering with the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, the combination allows the powertrain to bump up the output to 275 kW or 374 PS. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has already successfully demonstrated its excellent everyday usability, even in low temperatures, during the final rounds of testing in Sweden earlier this year.
The BMW Group sources its individual fuel cells from the Toyota Motor Corporation. The two companies have enjoyed a trusted partnership and have been collaborating on fuel cell drive systems since 2013. This also has been a shining example to other automotive companies as they all race to be carbon neutral by the year 2040.
We still have a long way until 2040, but the effort of BMW and all the other brands are slowly showing with each electric vehicle coming out. We all hope to reach that zero-emission goal and have a healthy automotive industry as well.