BMW has been with the idea of producing a hydrogen vehicle for many years and the Bavarians even trialed a fuel cell 7 Series UK during the mid-2000s.
Previewed by the i Next Hydrogen Concept at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, it will have a peak output of 374 PS (369 HP / 275 kW). Refueling the tanks with hydrogen will take 3 to 4 minutes and the vehicle will emit nothing more than water vapors.
In the case of BMW’s upcoming hydrogen-electric X5, the fuel cell will sit up front and draw hydrogen from two tanks, one in the X5’s transmission tunnel and the other under the rear seat. The fuel cell will combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air to create electricity which will directly power an electric motor at the rear axle.
Electricity from the fuel cell will also charge a small battery that will also power the motor during high-load situations. Total system output in this case will be 368 horsepower. The fuel cell on its own generates about 167 hp.
BMW’s electrified vehicle family will expand by 2023 with a total of 25 different models, including “at least 12” with BEV powertrains.