BMW to release hydrogen-powered iX5 SUV in 2022

BMW has announced it plans to release a hydrogen-powered version of the iX5 SUV. The car will enter limited production next year, and be known as the iX5 Hydrogen.

The car was first unveiled in 2019 as the ‘i Hydrogen Next’. At that point in time it was just a concept vehicle, but now BMW will show off a close to production version at the IAA Mobility 2021 show next month in Berlin, Germany.

According to a press release from the automaker the vehicle is still in series development, but attendees at the show will be able to experience the hydrogen-powered drivetrain first hand.

“Currently still in series development, the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with hydrogen fuel cell drive train will be one of several vehicles visitors can experience as they are driven along the Blue Lane connecting the main exhibition grounds with other exhibition venues in the city centre.”

Promotional images of the iX5 Hydrogen show that visually it is basically the same as its gas-powered counterpart, but features a number of blue accents to signify its zero-emissions and environmentally friendly status.

The iX5 Hydrogen combines BMWs fuel-cell technology and their signature eDrive system, which uses hydrogen as fuel by converting it into electricity in a fuel cell. This delivers the equivalent of 170 horsepower, which when combined with the battery power generated through coasting and braking gives a total power output of 374 horsepower.

Inside the car are two 700-bar hydrogen tanks made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Combined they have a capacity to hold about six kilograms (13lbs) of hydrogen which will take about 3-4 minutes to fill up, according to the automaker.

No range was provided, but the head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects, Juergen Gulder said “there are no limits on using the BMW iX5 Hydrogen for long distances, with just a few, short stops in-between.”

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