BMW, in its vision on the development of alternative propulsion systems, continues to focus on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Although the latter is not yet ripe for large-scale diffusion, BMW, which has collaborated with Toyota for the development of hydrogen since 2013 (both companies are members of the Hydrogen Council), believes that this technology will find greater use. in applications that cannot be directly electrified, such as long distance heavy transport.
A fundamental piece in the development strategy of hydrogen fuel cell systems is the Hydrogen Next, a variant of the BMW X5 SUV equipped with this power supply, presented at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The German company has released some more technical details on the Hydrogen Next, which is expected to debut starting in 2022 on a small series of converted X5s, to then be mass-produced starting in 2025.
The heart of BMW’s experimental car is the fuel cell, in which oxygen captured from the atmosphere combines with hydrogen stored in two 700 bar cylinders, which can hold up to 6 kg of hydrogen. The chemical reaction produces water and electricity generating a power of 170 HP. In practice, the fuel cell acts as a generator for a second battery, of the traditional type, called peak, which in turn powers the engine. Altogether up to 374 hp are available. Battery and motor are the same ones that will debut with the iX3. Refueling with liquid hydrogen takes only 3-4 minutes and autonomy should allow you to travel 500 km.