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BMW iX5 Hydrogen Triumphs in Harsh Desert Trials: A Resilient Vision of the Future

BMW iX5 Hydrogen

BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoing desert test drives. Source: BMW PressClub Global

In a groundbreaking test of endurance, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet, launched just this February, has proven its mettle in grueling hot-weather trials in the United Arab Emirates. As temperatures soared to a scorching 45°C, the car’s innovative fuel cell drive system showcased exceptional resilience, overcoming not only the blazing heat but also challenging terrain with sand, dust, steep gradients, and humidity fluctuations.

Key Highlights:

Extreme Endurance: The vehicles faced temperatures of up to 45°C, demonstrating the robustness of the fuel cell drive system even under the harshest conditions.

Efficient Core Components: The exceptionally efficient fuel cell system, twin hydrogen tanks, powerful electric motor, and high-performance power battery worked seamlessly together, ensuring outstanding performance and readiness.

Munich-Based Engineering: Engineers from Munich rigorously examined all electric systems under extreme conditions, guaranteeing the vehicle’s cooling system operated optimally, thus maintaining BMW’s signature driving dynamics.

The core components – an exceptionally efficient fuel cell system, twin hydrogen tanks, a robust electric motor, and a high-performance power battery, orchestrated seamlessly by the central vehicle control unit – demonstrated outstanding performance and unwavering readiness. Engineers from Munich scrutinized the functionality of all electric systems under these extreme conditions and ensured the vehicle’s cooling system operated at peak efficiency.

The result: the BMW iX5 Hydrogen maintained the hallmark driving dynamics that BMW is renowned for.

 Global Testing Grounds:

Currently, vehicles from the pilot fleet are undergoing trials across the globe, including Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA, and the Middle East. This extensive testing regimen aims to underscore the practicality of hydrogen-powered vehicles in everyday scenarios and to gather critical insights for potential mass production.

Infrastructure Development:

Moreover, the BMW Group is proactively supporting the development of a versatile refueling infrastructure compatible with 700-bar refueling technology across vehicle categories, from passenger cars to heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This endeavor seeks to foster a robust network of hydrogen technology suppliers, with the ultimate goal of reducing costs.

 Future-Ready Drive System:

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen seamlessly combines impressive long-distance capabilities with swift refueling stops, all while ensuring locally emission-free driving. Given the establishment of the requisite infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cell technology stands poised to become a cornerstone in the BMW Group’s future drive system portfolio.

Adapting to Diverse Needs:

In line with its ongoing transformation, the BMW Group embraces a “technology-open” approach to drive systems. This strategic flexibility enables the company to meet diverse customer needs, adhere to varying infrastructure standards, and navigate distinct political and regulatory environments worldwide. This adaptability positions the BMW Group to respond promptly to evolving market demands and consistently offer compelling solutions to a broad customer base.

 Impressive Technical Specifications:

Under the hood, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen boasts a fuel cell system with an output of 125 kW/170 hp, coupled with a highly integrated drive unit featuring fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. This compact housing combines the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics. The collective output of the drive system amounts to an impressive 295 kW / 401 hp.

Range and Efficiency:

Hydrogen necessary for the fuel cell is stored in a pair of 700-bar tanks constructed from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), collectively holding approximately six kilograms of hydrogen. This storage capacity translates to a remarkable range of 504 km (313 miles) in the WLTP cycle.

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen emerges from the crucible of desert testing as a beacon of innovation and resilience. Its exceptional performance under extreme conditions not only showcases the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cell technology but also underlines BMW’s commitment to a sustainable future of mobility.

Source: BMW Group

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