BMW hydrogen car pilot production in 2022; based on X5 SUV

BMW has announced that the i Hydrogen NEXT, based on the X5, will enter small series production from 2022.

BMW has announced that the i Hydrogen NEXT, based on the current-generation X5, will enter small series production in 2022.

The BMW X5 comes with a hydrogen fuel cell e-drive technology. The fuel cell itself is positioned at the front, while the electric motor is placed near the rear axle. This electric motor is said to be the same fifth-generation e-drive which debuted on the BMW iX3.

The fuel cells at the front create a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen (from the ambient air) to produce electricity and water vapour. The fuel cell alone is said to produce 125 kW (170 BHP), which is sent to the electric motor.

In addition, there is also a high-voltage battery which serves as a performance buffer for additional dynamics and acceleration. The drivetrain is said to produce a combined power output of 275 kW (374 BHP).

Apart from this, the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT will also come with two 700-bar CFRP tanks containing up to 6 kg of hydrogen. BMW claims that both the tanks can be filled in just three to four minutes.

BMW states that hydrogen fuel cell technology has a lot of advantages over BEVs (battery electric vehicles). The company also claims FCEVs are better suited for customers who frequently travel long distances, as they offer better flexibility and convenience. Also, refuelling FCEVs can be done in just a few minutes, making it similar to the conventional IC-engine cars of today.

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