It seems like competition in the sustainable mobility industry is genuinely starting to heat up, with BMW joining in the alternative fuel fray with their new BMW iX5 Hydrogen.
This development comes two years after the Bavarian automaker unveiled their BMW i Hydrogen NEXT concept car two years ago. But you will not be able to purchase your iX5 Hydrogen as of yet - only 100 will be made at the time of publishing, and will be put through their real-world paces by drivers across the globe.
Built on the existing ICE X5 architecture, the iX5 Hydrogen pairs a high-performance battery pack with fuel cell components supplied by Toyota, to create a drive system that Juergen Guldner, head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Project, claims is “forging new paths for sustainable driving pleasure.”BMW’s electrified cars have distinct design elements, which are present in the iX5 Hydrogen. Aerodynamic wheels, colour-contrast trim finished in BMW i Blue all make an appearance, albeit with some key changes to reflect its unique propulsion source - the entry sills and cover trim for the instrument panel sport a ‘hydrogen fuel cell’ badge.
The hydrogen fuel cell alone is capable of providing enough electrical power to sustain a continuous 170 hp, emitting only water vapour as a byproduct. When paired with the high-performance battery, the fifth generation eDrive motor is capable of delivering 374hp.As with all other EVs, this motor also acts as a generator when you lift your foot off the throttle.
One of the key benefits of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source is the ease of refuelling; unlike BEVs, there’s no need to wait for hours on end for your car to have sufficient usable range. The hydrogen is stored in two 700-bar tanks fabricated from carbon fibre, with about six kilograms of hydrogen storage capacity.
It will take only four minutes to fill the tank. Once the infrastructure is mature, long-distance, hassle-free road trips will very much be possible.
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