BMW has unveiled its pilot fleet of the iX5 Hydrogen vehicle in the UK, marking the culmination of four years of dedicated development. This pilot fleet, comprising fewer than 100 vehicles, will serve as a demonstration and trial of BMW’s commitment to harnessing the power of hydrogen as a versatile energy solution in the global shift towards renewable sources.
The introduction of the iX5 Hydrogen fleet holds profound significance, echoing BMW’s vision of hydrogen as the crucial missing element in achieving emission-free transportation on a global scale. Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, aptly pointed out, “Hydrogen is the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to emission-free mobility. No single technology alone will be sufficient to achieve global climate-neutral mobility.”
At its core, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen is a testament to the brand’s continuous innovation in electric drive technologies. Initially showcased as a prototype at the IAA show in 2019, the iX5 Hydrogen is an adaptation of the BMW X5 model. It was further spotlighted for public engagement at the IAA Mobility 2021 event.
Key to this revolutionary vehicle is its advanced fuel cell system, a technology that BMW is earnestly exploring as a potent alternative for local emission-free travel. The fuel cell systems for the pilot fleet are manufactured in Munich, with BMW drawing on a strategic partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation for individual fuel cells.
Production of the iX5 Hydrogen takes place at the BMW Group’s pilot plant in Munich, staffed by around 900 specialists committed to ensuring the vehicle’s readiness for series production. The vehicle’s hydrogen storage system empowers it with a remarkable range of 504 km (313 miles), and refueling the tanks takes a mere 3-4 minutes, highlighting the practicality of hydrogen as a fuel source.
Under the hood, the iX5 Hydrogen boasts a formidable drive system output of 295 kW/401 hp, capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in under 6 seconds and reaching a top speed exceeding 180 km/h (112 mph). This showcases the fusion of sustainable mobility with powerful performance.
The iX5 Hydrogen’s introduction aligns seamlessly with BMW’s commitment to decarbonization, aiming for a significant reduction of at least 40% in CO2 emissions per vehicle by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. The brand is equally resolute in its ambition for over 50% of its total sales to come from electric vehicles by the same year.
As the iX5 Hydrogen takes to the roads, it symbolizes more than just a vehicle; it stands as a testament to BMW’s dedication to driving the transition to greener, more sustainable transportation. With strong support from the global energy transition movement and the potential of the right infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cell technology has the capacity to reshape the future of transportation.