The BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet, launched in February, recently completed rigorous hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates. BMW says the fuel cell drive system demonstrated impressive performance under extreme conditions, including 45-degree Celsius temperatures, sand, dust, varying gradients, and humidity fluctuations.
The tests validated the efficiency of the fuel cell system, hydrogen tanks, electric motor, and power battery, all controlled by a central unit. The vehicles maintained functionality of all the electric systems under the extreme conditions.
These pilot fleet vehicles are currently deployed in various regions worldwide, including Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA, and the Middle East.
The goal is to showcase the everyday usability of hydrogen-powered vehicles, gather vital data for potential series production, and support regional refuelling infrastructure development for 700-bar refuelling technology across vehicle categories.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen offers long-distance capabilities and quick refuelling, along with zero local emissions. BMW says that hydrogen fuel cell technology could become a significant component of the company's future drive system portfolio, pending the right infrastructure.
BMW is taking a "technology-open" approach to drive systems, adapting to different regional requirements and infrastructure standards. This approach allows them to respond flexibly to changing market demands and offer attractive options to a broad customer base. This is not unlike Toyota’s stance of multi-pathway approach to carbon neutrality.
Also read: After BEVs, BMW calls the Toyota-powered iX5 hydrogen FCEVs the missing jigsaw piece in carbon neutrality
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen features a 170 PS fuel cell system and a highly integrated drive unit using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. The overall drive system output is 401 PS, with hydrogen stored in two 700-bar carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic tanks, providing a range of 504 km in the WLTP cycle.
Also read: BMW: The future needs more than one leg to stand on - 1/3 global sales to be EVs, hydrogen FCEV after 2025