The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is undergoing its final winter testing in one of the coldest regions in the world. Tests confirm: the hydrogen fuel cell drive defies even the lowest temperatures.
The BMW Group impressively demonstrates with the BMW iX5 how enormously reliable and suitable for everyday use alternative CO2-free drive systems are – offering unlimited driving pleasure even in extreme weather conditions. This trend-setting insight is provided by current winter testing of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen with its innovative hydrogen fuel cell technology. The sustainable model proves itself in one of the coldest regions in the world, right on the Arctic Circle, undergoing numerous driving tests on public roads as well as at the BMW Group’s test centre in Arjeplog in northern Sweden.
The data obtained so far from the demanding test programme represents a significant milestone for the BMW Group in developing CO2-free driving pleasure. Despite harsh below-zero temperatures and the most challenging conditions such as ice and snow, all drive components of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen – from the fuel cell system to the hydrogen tanks and the power buffer battery to the central vehicle control unit – impressively underlined their reliability and suitability for everyday use.
Small series of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen to be produced before the end of 2022.
Testing under extreme weather conditions is a prerequisite in the vehicle development process. Once the vehicle’s reliability has been put through its paces in a wide variety of situations, series production can begin. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has been successfully undergoing extensive long-distance and weather tests for some months now as part of the BMW Group development process.
The aim is to produce a small series of the model by the end of the year. At the same time, the company is committed to rapidly expanding the hydrogen filling station network: “The winter testing under extreme conditions clearly shows that the BMW iX5 Hydrogen can also deliver full performance in temperatures of -20°C and therefore represents a viable alternative to a vehicle powered by a battery-electric drive system,” says Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development. “For us to be able to offer our customers a fuel cell drive system as an attractive sustainable mobility solution, a sufficiently extensive hydrogen infrastructure also needs to be in place.”
One particularly fascinating feature of the hydrogen fuel cell drive: even at extremely low temperatures, it is in no way inferior to a conventional combustion engine in terms of everyday usability. Drivers have the full system power at their disposal shortly after starting – even in the freezing cold. The range is also unrestricted. What’s more, it only takes three to four minutes to fill up the hydrogen tanks, even in frosty conditions.
The best of both drive worlds.
Jürgen Guldner, Head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects, has no doubt that the BMW Group’s hydrogen fuel cell technology will soon be an attractive alternative in the field of sustainable mobility for everyday life: “Irrespective of the time of year and the outside temperatures, the hydrogen fuel cell drive combines the best of both drive worlds: the locally emission-free mobility of an electric vehicle and the unrestricted suitability for everyday use, including short refuelling stops, that we are all familiar with from models with combustion engines.”
Speaking of fuel stops: one of the most important prerequisites for individual mobility with fuel cell vehicles is not only having hydrogen produced from regeneratively generated energy, but also a nationwide supply infrastructure. This is why the BMW Group supports the EU Commission’s efforts to implement the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) for developing hydrogen filling stations and an electric charging infrastructure in parallel.
The BMW Group’s wide-ranging commitment to hydrogen fuel cell technology underlines its clear claim to be the most successful and sustainable premium manufacturer for individual and clean mobility, offering a wide range of CO2-neutral drive systems.