The X5-based BMW fuel-cell SUV boasts hydrogen power. The vehicle is called the iX5, which is being produced in a limited run and will start testing in chosen regions in 2023.
When it comes to fighting climate change, BMW is in line with many other automakers, as indicated by its 2050 goal of reaching carbon neutrality.
The German marquee is a bit different in its approach, though, since it believes that not just pure electric cars, but hydrogen fuel-cell cars will also play an important role in achieving 100 percent zero emissions.
Its move towards the carbon-free future is led by the BMW iX5 hydrogen-powered SUV, which is being produced in a limited number.
The vehicle made its first appearance a few years ago in the form of a concept called the i Hydrogen Next Concept at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The iX5 is scheduled to lay rubber on chosen regions next spring for testing purposes.
Receiving the DNA of the standard BMW X5, the hydrogen fuel-cell machine has gotten its old floor replaced with a whole new one to accommodate a pair of hydrogen storage tanks installed under its central tunnel and rear seats.
The tanks come with a roughly 16-pound capacity and feed a fuel-cell stack under the hood, which is coupled with a rear-mounted electric motor and battery.
According to BMW, its iX5 is capable of producing a combined 374 horsepower out of its whole hydrogen powertrain system. Its weight has been minimized to compare to the 5627-pound plug-in-hybrid X5.
The car can reach 62 mph from a stand still in less than 7 seconds, while its top speed is 118 mph. In terms of driving range, the iX5 is estimated to cover about 310 miles based on the WLTP driving cycle.
BMW is optimistic about the future of hydrogen-powered vehicles as they can meet the needs of some customers that can’t be met by electric cars.
One example is quick refueling, something that not all EV users can do, especially if they have no access to a fast charging facility.
In addition, hydrogen power is expected to overcome challenges that obstruct electrification, such as slow progress in the segment of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
It will also address other obstacles in some regions like limitations in grid power capacity and renewable resources.
Last but not least, BMW says over 40 countries welcome the switch to hydrogen power with open arms and a supportive strategy; and the number of hydrogen refueling stations is growing every year.