The hydrogen fuel cell continues to be one more way to electrification the car, but for the moment with little travel for passenger cars. The BMW Group has been collaborating with Toyota on this matter since 2013, and the alliance will take a further step at the end of the year when the production of a fleet of BMW iX5 Hydrogens will begin to test and validate them.
For this, Toyota’s next-generation fuel cell technology will be used, which is already being manufactured on a small scale at the Hydrogen Competence Center in Munich (Germany) with cells supplied by Toyota and multiple components supplied by the factory. BMW in Landshut. In addition to the fuel cell itself, two high-pressure tanks, wiring, a high-voltage coolant pump, and the hydrogen compressor are required.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen will not be intended for the public and will be used as an advance in the current generation of the X5 (G05). From the technical data that we know, we can tell you that the fuel cell has a continuous output of 125 kW/170 hp, delivers power to high-voltage batteries of unknown capacity, and these feed the 275 kW/275 kW BMW eDrive powertrain. 384 hp. The two tanks store 6 kg of hydrogen.
The production of fuel cells is divided into two processes: first, the individual cells are assembled to form a stack, and second, the rest of the components are placed to form the fuel cell assembly, including auxiliary systems. The first part is done in an automated way, the second has more manpower.
To achieve its plans related to hydrogen, the BMW Group is going to allocate 500 million euros for the technical center and hydrogen refueling stations, especially in Germany. There are already almost a hundred hydro lines or hydrogen stations there. In the future, BMW will produce its cells, at the moment they are being supplied by Toyota.
The fleet, over a hundred units, is going to be tested in Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China. They will accumulate great mileage and incalculable user experience, as was done in their day with the BMW ActiveE (based on the 1 Series) and the MINI e. If the tests are satisfactory and BMW does not hit a rudder, they will end up being a reality in series production in a few years. BMW has not yet committed to a date to liquidate its internal combustion engines.