On 3rd May 2021, at Hydrogen Technology Day, BMW announced that the brand is working on Hydrogen fuel cell systems. Furthermore, the brand revealed that it is working on a new concept car, BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, based on the BMW X5 SUV. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is supposed to go into production by 2022. Now the brand confirms that it is testing the new technology out on public roads.
The fuel of the Future
BMW is working on Hydrogen as a fuel for sustainable mobility. The brand is therefore testing the new Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on public roads in Europe. BMW also reveals that the brand will launch the car in a small production quantity in 2022. The test mule images appear to be near-production ready and undergoing test for everyday use in Europe. This will help the brand understand how the CO2 free drivetrain, model-specific chassis and electronics system work in real-life conditions. Furthermore, the extensive field testing of the vehicle will lead to practical improvements in sustainable technology.
BMW i Hydrogen NEXT
The SUV is based on the BMW X5 but features an electric drivetrain capable of delivering 374 Hp of power. The brand uses the highly integrated fifth-generation e-drive motor for propulsion. The power unit also consists of a high-voltage battery that can store electric energy produced by the Fuel Cell system.
BMW Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
The Hydrogen is stored in CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) storage tanks. The tanks have a total capacity of 6 kgs and can carry Hydrogen at 700 Bar of pressure. The tanks need just 3 to 4 minutes to refill and deliver a range of several hundred km. In a standard family vehicle, 5 kgs of Hydrogen can produce enough electrical energy to cover 300 miles (483 km) of distance. The continuous hydrogen feed also ensures extensive range in all weather conditions. The Fuel Cell Vehicle offers range and refuelling time similar to a petrol or diesel vehicle but the benefits of an electric car.