The fuel cell propulsion system of the car performed remarkably well under conditions that reached 45°C, in sand and dust, as well as on varying slopes and significant humidity fluctuations. The fuel cell system, consisting of two hydrogen tanks, the electric motor, and the battery, worked perfectly in conjunction with the central control unit.
The development team based in Munich thoroughly examined the functionality of all electrical systems under extreme conditions and ensured the cooling power was sufficient to maintain the vehicle’s performance under any circumstances. The vehicles in this pilot fleet are undergoing testing in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA, and the Middle East. The goal is to emphasize the daily usability of hydrogen-powered vehicles and gather valuable insights for the potential development of a mass-production model.
BMW Group is using this pilot fleet to provide regional support for the development of refueling infrastructure capable of using 700-bar pressure refueling technology for all vehicle categories, from passenger cars to buses and heavy commercial vehicles. Collaborations between different application areas also offer significant opportunities for creating a strong network of hydrogen technology suppliers and reducing costs.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen features a fuel cell system producing 170 hp and an highly integrated drive unit utilizing fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology (the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics are compactly integrated). The total power output of the drive system is 401 hp. Hydrogen required for the fuel cell is stored in two 700-bar pressure tanks made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). These tanks can hold approximately six kilograms of hydrogen, providing the BMW iX5 Hydrogen with a range of 504 km in the WLTP cycle.
Given the appropriate framework, hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to become another pillar in BMW Group’s future portfolio of propulsion systems. As part of its ongoing transformation, BMW Group is adopting an “open to technology” approach, not only adapting to different customer requirements and infrastructure standards but also responding to political data in combination with regulatory authority demands in various regions around the world. This flexibility allows BMW Group to quickly adapt to changing market requirements in every situation.