Autos

Fuel cell for the BMW X5: hydrogen drive in small series

In 2019 BMW announced a hydrogen version of the X5, in 2022 the “BMW i Hydrogen Next “ now become a reality. The drive supplied with electricity by the fuel cell should be a System output of up to 275 kW (374 PS) and comes from the E-SUV iX3. In the hydrogen BMW, this is the only one Fuel cell an electrical output of 125 kW (170 PS) can raise. The hydrogen required to generate electricity should be in two 700 bar CFRP high pressure tanks be stored in gaseous form. According to BMW, the tanks together hold up to six kilograms of hydrogen. So that there is always enough energy available even for short intermediate sprints, the BMW buffers electricity in a battery that is located below the trunk.

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BMW i Hydrogen Next
One of the two hydrogen tanks uses the transmission tunnel of the X5.

Small series planned for 2022

A Mass production would stand not yet on the agendasays the company. “From our point of view, hydrogen as an energy carrier must first be produced in sufficient quantities, with green electricity and at competitive prices”, said the former BMW development director Klaus Fröhlich in 2019 regarding the requirements for timely production. In addition, in the eyes of BMW, there will still be a lack of the right infrastructure at the filling stations in 2021. As long as the framework conditions are not right, the Munich-based company does not want to offer its customers a hydrogen vehicle for sale.

Many of the components for the hydrogen drive of the X5 will in future be produced at the BMW plant in Landshut.

BMW X5 with optical adjustments

The Hydrogen Next is already at first sight as BMW X5 recognizable. The modifications to the optics are limited. However, the BMW gets many blue accents that should distinguish it as a BMW i model. So gets the bonnet special pattern in blue, the Air inlets in the apron also wear blue elements and are very large. The accentuated aluminum rims on the side catch the eye. And on Rear the Hydrogen Next receives a Diffuser and small winglets.

Hydrogen has been a topic at BMW for a long time

The Fuel cell technology for the planned small series comes from one cooperation of BMW and Toyota. since 2013 the two carmakers have been working together since summer 2015 tests BMW with a Hydrogen 5 Series GT fleet the practical suitability of the jointly developed drive train. BMW has been working on this for years Hydrogen vehicles, but so far without any significant success. True were 2002 100 pieces of the BMW Hydrogen 7 produced on the basis of the E66 7 series, but never went on sale.
BMW Hydrogen7

Only 100 units of the BMW Hydrogen 7 based on the E66 were built.


Celebrities and politicians, including Munich’s then mayor Christian Ude, received the Vehicles on a lease basis. Especially with the Hydrogen 7: The hydrogen is not used to operate a fuel cell, but in one Piston engine blown in. A slightly modified 760i motor serves as the drive. However, it does significantly less than a hydrogen engine. They are gasoline-powered 445 PS and 600 Nm, in the Hydrogen 7 only 260 PS and 390 Nm.
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