Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain from BMW a “no cost option”July 12, 2023
The European automaker is running an iX5 Hydrogen prototype pilot production run.
BMW has launched a new pilot production run of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle prototype, the iX5 Hydrogen.
According to media reports, the automaker could offer the H2 powertrains as a “no-cost option”.
Reports are stating that BMW could begin offering the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain vehicles across its electric car range as a “no-cost option” starting in 2035.
The same reports are indicating that new and compact H2 tank technology makes it possible for the
German automaker to store H2 within vehicle platforms that will work for either source of energy. BMW suppliers have already been working to produce several of the small tanks for the pilot production run.
Those small H2 storage tanks can be stashed in several potential areas within the chassis that would otherwise be used to store the batteries in a fully electric car.
The small tanks would replace the larger ones seen in the current hydrogen fuel cell car prototype.
The small tanks can replace the more conventional large H2 storage system with two tanks and keep up the same chassis strength. The more conventional system can be seen in the current prototype of the iX5 Hydrogen.
Overall, the smaller tanks will still be able to store the same amount of H2 – about 6 kilograms – as the current prototype model with two larger tanks.
By using this new storage strategy – when combined with the cheaper recyclability of fuel cell vehicles when compared to battery electric vehicles – BMW is provided with the opportunity to offer hydrogen fuel cell powertrains to drivers as an alternative to battery electrics for nearly the same cost.
A variant of the iX EV
BMW’s first ever H2-powered car is expected to be a variant of the iX electric SUV. The automaker is already running a pilot production run of the prototype of the iX5 Hydrogen. It expects that it will be able to start production before the end of the decade.
With comparable prices between the H2 and battery electric vehicles, it could offer drivers an opportunity to realistically consider a future in which they enjoy zero-emission driving without having to recharge overnight – assuming that an H2 refueling network is established by that time.
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