BMW's hydrogen-powered cars come off the assembly line

By Cameron Saunders
The cars, with two tanks that can be filled in under five minutes, are expected to be shown and demonstrated to interested parties over the coming year

A new day has dawned at BMW after it was announced that the Munich-based automobile manufacturer has launched a pilot fleet of hydrogen vehicles known as the iX5 Hydrogen model.

The car will use fuel cells developed by Toyota, this new car, a milestone in the use of hydrogen power, can reach speeds of up to 112 miles per hour.

The hydrogen itself is stored in two tanks which can be refilled in a matter of three to four minutes. Once the tanks are filled, the vehicle has displayed a range of 313 miles in the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. 

The car is being assembled at a factory in Munich. 

While it enters service in 2023, initially the rollout will be relatively small: fewer than 100 cars will be coming off the assembly line and sent abroad for trialling and demonstrations for sundry target groups. 

A path to the future 

The star of hydrogen appears to be rising in the automotive world. BMW is one of the larger manufacturers looking to innovate with the element, but others include Nissan, Hyundai and the aforementioned Toyota. 

Commented BMW Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse: “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. Hydrogen is the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to emission-free mobility. One technology on its own will not be enough to enable climate-neutral mobility worldwide.” 

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