The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT Proves Some Are Not Convinced by EVs
BMW brought out a couple of surprises at the IAA 2019, otherwise also known as the Frankfurt Motor Show. Among huge grilles and maddening red hues, you could also spot a white BMW X5 with blue accents, featuring blue wheels and a massive new front bumper. On the sides it has BMW i Hydrogen Fuel Cell written in the same blue hue, hinting at what hides underneath. That's right, this is not your run of the mill X5, this is a fuel-cell powered model, running on hydrogen.
This isn't BMW's first attempt at bringing out a hydrogen powered model. Their first run was a BMW 760i modified to run on hydrogen back in 2005. The BMW Hydrogen 7 was just an experiment but it did show that hydrogen could be used to power cars without releasing any harmful emissions out the tailpipe. Now, following a deal signed with Toyota in 2013, BMW is showing the fruits of that collaboration, in the shape of this concept. The car is fully functional and has a hydrogen tank inside. There are no additional details provided, such as range, power or acceleration times but this definitely looks impressive and underlines the fact that BMW still thinks fuel-cell vehicles are better for longer trips than EVs and could represent a better alternative on the long run.
Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are able to offer unrestricted zero-emission mobility with similar usage characteristics to conventional vehicles: Refuelling times of under four minutes, long range, no compromises in terms of comfort, suitability for towing and very little dependence on climatic conditions, which means owners enjoy a long operating range in summer and winter alike. To make all of this possible, a hydrogen infrastructure fit for the job in hand is needed. In most countries, such supply infrastructures are still in the early stages of development. BMW says a small batch of these cars will be built in 2022 but they won't go on sale but be offered to selected customers by the BMW Group. However, depending on the hydrogen infrastructure conditions and the actual demand, BMW plans to offer a vehicle with a fuel cell for ordinary sale at the earliest in 2025.