BMW announced that it has inaugurated the start of fuel cell production in its competence center for hydrogen in Munich. Oliver Zipse, BMW's Chairman of the Board of Management, and Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Development, attended the occasion.
As announced before, the iX5 Hydrogen Concept from last year will enter limited production at the end of the year, both for test and demonstration purposes. It will utilize a fuel cell system, which, in conjunction with a high-performance battery, is set to enrich BMW's portfolio by "adding a unique form of drive system for the premium segment."
Gallery: BMW iX5 Hydrogen
"As a versatile energy source, hydrogen has a key role to play on the road to climate neutrality. And it will also gain substantially in importance as far as personal mobility is concerned. We think hydrogen-powered vehicles are ideally placed technologically to fit alongside battery-electric vehicles and complete the electric mobility picture," said Oliver Zipse.
BMW poured some details about the production process in its release. The German marque sources the individual fuel cells from Toyota, which confirms a previous report that the two companies are working together to mass produce new fuel cell vehicles.
According to BMW, fuel cell systems are manufactured in two steps. A fuel cell stack is first assembled from the individual fuel cells from Toyota. All the other components are then fitted to complete the fuel cell system. Both of these processes are done in-house at BMW Group Plant Landshut.
As for the iX5 Hydrogen, BMW hasn't detailed the production specs yet, though the concept came with 168 horsepower (125 kilowatts). The range is still a mystery at this point but we know that it will allegedly feature two six-kilogram hydrogen tanks.