BMW rolls out small fleet of trial iX5 Hydrogen vehicles

Car stuff, Electric Vehicles

After four years of development work, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicle and its development project are entering a new phase as the first vehicles enter a pilot fleet of under 100 vehicles.

The fleet is being deployed internationally for demonstration and trial purposes. This active driving experience will be the first chance for people not involved in the development process to gain a direct impression of what the BMW iX5 Hydrogen has to offer.

Developed on the basis of the current BMW X5, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen was first unveiled as a concept at the IAA show in 2019. Initial prototypes were then made available at the IAA Mobility 2021 for visitors to experience in action as shuttle vehicles.

The BMW Group produces the highly efficient fuel cell systems for the pilot fleet at its in-house competence centre for hydrogen in Munich. This technology is one of the core elements in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen and generates a high continuous output of 125 kW/170 hp.

The BMW Group sources the individual fuel cells from the Toyota Motor Corporation. The two companies have enjoyed a partnership for many years and have been collaborating on fuel cell drive systems since 2013.

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is being built in the BMW Group’s pilot plant at its Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ) in Munich. This is the interface between development and production where every new model from the company’s brands is made for the first time. Around 900 people work there in the body shop, assembly, model engineering, concept vehicle construction and additive manufacturing.

Says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG:

“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source that has a key role to play in the energy transition process and therefore in climate protection. After all, it is one of the most efficient ways of storing and transporting renewable energies.”

“We should use this potential to also accelerate the transformation of the mobility sector. Hydrogen is the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to emission-free mobility. One technology on its own will not be enough to enable climate-neutral mobility worldwide.”

The BMW Group sold more than 215,000 fully electric vehicles worldwide in 2022, which represents an increase over the previous year of almost 108 per cent. Fully electric vehicles accounted for just under 9 per cent of total sales volumes last year, and this share is set to increase to 15 per cent in 2023.

By 2030 at the latest, the BMW Group is looking to reach a situation where fully electric vehicles claim over 50 per cent share of its overall sales.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen summary:
Maximum output of overall drive system
: 295 kW/401 hp
Electric continuous output of the fuel-cell system: 125 kW/170 hp
Maximum output of the battery (lithium-ion technology): 170 kW/231 hp
Maximum output of the highly integrated electric drive unit: 295 kW/401 hp
Capacity of the hydrogen tanks: 6 kg hydrogen (gaseous)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) < 6 s
Top speed:
 Over 180 km/h (112 mph)
Hydrogen consumption in the WLTP cycle: 1.19 kg/100 km
Range in the WLTP cycle: 504 km (313 miles)

Chris Price
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