BMW iX5 Hydrogen Will Show Off Brand's Fuel Cell Tech In Munich

The fuel cell powertrain makes up to 369 hp.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen Front Angle BMW iX5 Hydrogen Front Angle

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen will be available to take a ride in at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany. It is the brand's demonstration of fuel cell technology, and the company plans to build a small run of them for demonstration and testing purposes in 2022.

The iX5 Hydrogen generally produces 168 horsepower (125 kilowatts) but can make up to 369 hp (275 kW) "for particularly sporty driving maneuvers," according to BMW. The vehicle holds roughly 13.23 pounds (6 kilograms) of hydrogen in two carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic tanks. Refueling takes three to four minutes.

The iX5 Hydrogen is based on the X5. For added style, the company makes the inner edges of the kidney grilles, wheel inserts, and bits of the rear apron are in BMW i Blue. The mesh in the grilles is 3D printed. The door sills and instrument panel trim have "hydrogen fuel cell" badges.

The iX5 Hydrogen rides on Pirelli tires that use natural rubber and rayon with raw materials in compliance with the Forest Stewardship Council. It rides on 22-inch wheels with an aerodynamic design for slipping through the air.

BMW believes that as long as hydrogen is produced with renewable energy and there's a large enough infrastructure for it, then the fuel can be a viable option for zero-emission driving. The company thinks hydrogen fuel cells can co-exist with battery electric vehicles, particularly in places that don't have easy access for recharging an EV.

BMW has been working on this project for several years. In 2019, it showed off the i Hydrogen NEXT concept. The fuel cell powertrain came from a collaboration with Toyota.

Earlier this year, the iX5 Hydrogen began public road testing around Europe with a focus on developing the various electronics systems and model-specific chassis technology.

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