BMW Launches Pilot Fleet of Hydrogen Vehicles

February 27, 2023 by Dan McCue
BMW Launches Pilot Fleet of Hydrogen Vehicles
(BMW Group photo)

MUNICH, Germany — BMW Group, long a multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles, on Monday launched its “pilot fleet” of hydrogen vehicles.

Over the course of the next year, the automaker said, it plans to deploy the fleet of 100 vehicles in a number of locales worldwide, and allow “various target groups” to experience them through trials and demonstrations.

Not only will this introduce the luxury car-buying public to the new technology, BMW said, it will give the development team valuable practical knowledge about the vehicle and the everyday use of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

“Hydrogen is the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to emission-free mobility,” declared Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of BMW AG.

“One technology on its own will not be enough to enable climate-neutral mobility worldwide,” he said.

The first BMW iX5 Hydrogen models are hitting the road after four years of development.

Using individual fuel cells it sources from the Toyota Motor Corporation — a partnership that actually extends back to 2013 — BMW Group has developed a unique and highly efficient fuel cell system at its Munich-based Center of Excellence for Hydrogen.

Special components developed for the new fuel cell system were specifically designed to complement technologies found in internal combustion engines, including the intercooler, air filter, control units and sensor technologies.

As BMW explained in a release on the new fleet, there are two stages in fuel system production. First, the individual fuel cells are piled up to create a fuel cell stack. Then, all the other components are fitted to form a complete fuel cell system.

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen stores hydrogen in two tanks and can be filled up in three to four minutes. 

The company says it has a range of about 313 miles and can reach a top speed of 212 miles per hour.

“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source that has a key role to play in the energy transition process and therefore in climate protection. After all, it is one of the most efficient ways of storing and transporting renewable energies. We should use this potential to also accelerate the transformation of the mobility sector,” Zipse said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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