Written by Daniel Andzhurov – September 07, 2022
Reviewed by Asaf Kedem
From now on, the BMW Group will produce highly efficient fuel cell systems at its own hydrogen competence center in Munich. The technology is one of the main components in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen (see below) and has a constant output of 125 kW/170 hp. In combination with an electric motor from the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology and a powerful battery specially developed for this vehicle, the vehicle's drive provides 275 kW/374 hp. on the road. For the small series, the development team integrated into the existing architecture of the BMW X5 the powerful drive system consisting of two hydrogen tanks, a fuel cell and an electric motor. At the latest winter test in Sweden earlier this year, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen was able to demonstrate its suitability for everyday use – even at very low temperatures.
The convincing test results of the new small series are based on the BMW Group's comprehensive experience with hydrogen as propulsion technology. Internal combustion engines running on hydrogen were used even before fuel cells. For reasons of efficiency, the BMW Group decided to continue its development in this area from 2015 with the BMW 5 Series GT Hydrogen Cell, based on fuel cell technology. With know-how from the field of conventional drive technologies and comprehensive efficiency requirements for all vehicles, fuel cell technology is consistently optimized to this day.
BMW Group receives the individual fuel cells needed to produce the BMW iX5 Hydrogen from Toyota Motor Corporation. Both companies boast a long-standing, trust-filled collaboration and have been working together on fuel cell propulsion since 2013. Fuel cell systems are manufactured in two main steps. First, individual fuel cells are stacked to form a so-called “Stack” of fuel cells. In the next step, all other components are assembled to form a complete fuel cell system.
Auto Trendy’s take:
This is some great news for BMW, and for the future of the automotive industry as a whole. Just as with every new technology, the more it is being invested in the quicker the implementation. In other words, BMW’s co-operation with Toyota on hydrogen fuel cell systems is good for both developing the manufacturing technologies for it as well as testing the commercial feasibility of it as a replacement for conventional fuels.