BMW continues its development of hydrogen as a zero-emission alternative to battery-electric vehicles with the launch of a fleet of nearly 100 BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicles.
The test vehicles, built at the company’s research center in Munich, use fuel cells from its technology partner Toyota, which already has the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in production.
The cars will be used internationally for both technology demonstrations and trial purposes with a variety of target groups.
The strategy is similar to the path BMW has taken in the past with the MINI E (2009) and ActivE (2012) trials.
“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source that has a key role to play in the energy transition process and therefore in climate protection. After all, it is one of the most efficient ways of storing and transporting renewable energies,” commented Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG. “We should use this potential to also accelerate the transformation of the mobility sector. Hydrogen is the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to emission-free mobility. One technology on its own will not be enough to enable climate-neutral mobility worldwide.”
BMW points to several advantages of hydrogen technology, such as the ability to replenish the 700-bar tanks in under four minutes for a range of more than 300 miles.
The company aCorporates Want Sustainability as well as Electric Vehiclesso recognizes the current drawbacks, such as infrastructure and the need to ensure the hydrogen manufactured is green.
But, says the company, “With the right conditions, hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to become a further pillar in the BMW Group’s drive train portfolio for local CO2-free mobility.”