BMW will drive a small series of fuel cell vehicles BMW i Hydrogen NEXT in 2022. They will base the hydrogen-powered vehicle on the BMW X5 from the current German manufacturer. Based on the experience from BMW’s fifth-generation e-drive, this vehicle will be equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell e-drive system.
BMW will be running hydrogen-powered cars by 2022
LuTZ, the company at Landshut, will manufacture the components BMW needs for a hydrogen-electric drivetrain. The facility will manufacture a lightweight metal pile housing to hold the fuel cell. In addition, they will also manufacture plastic and light metal endplates to create a weather-tight seal around the stack housing.
In this example, ‘medium’ refers to hydrogen, oxygen, and coolant delivered to the container. The delivery is through the endplate of the medium to initiate a chemical reaction in the fuel cell. All of these products have been specially designed to withstand prolonged contact with hydrogen. The components will then be shipped to Munich to be installed in the fuel cell system.
The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT fuel cell system is fed with hydrogen from a CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) tank and can generate up to 125kW of electric power for an electric motor. They will later install the motor on the rear axle. Two 700 bar tanks hold a total of 6 kg of hydrogen. They help provide longer distances for vehicles in all weather conditions and can be recharged in just three to four minutes.
The electric motor in the pilot hydrogen vehicle is the same fifth-generation e-drive used for the BMW iX3. The high-voltage battery that sits on top of the e-drive acts as an energy buffer and provides additional power when it accelerates. The drivetrain system delivers a total output of 275kW (379PS).
The vehicle manufacturers say they are not yet in a position to provide hydrogen-powered vehicles to customers as further development is needed in terms of charging infrastructure and energy systems, such as green hydrogen which is available in competitive quantities and prices.