BMW starts making fuel-cell stacks for iX5 Hydrogen

BMW has began manufacturing fuel-cell stacks for its iX5 Hydrogen SUV, which is predicted to begin low-volume manufacturing earlier than the top of the 12 months.

First seen on the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Present because the i Hydrogen Subsequent, the iX5 Hydrogen is actually a BMW X5 crossover SUV that swaps out the internal-combustion engine with a fuel-cell stack that makes use of Toyota tech. The 2 automakers have been collaborating since 2013 on gasoline cells.

Toyota provides particular person gasoline cells, which harness a chemical response between oxygen and hydrogen, producing electrical energy. They’re assembled right into a stack at a facility in Munich, BMW stated in a press launch. That features a BMW-designed aluminum enclosure manufactured with a sand-casting course of by which molten aluminum is poured right into a mildew. This labor-intensive course of would not be sensible for BMW’s common fashions, however is ok for a low-volume automobile just like the iX5 Hydrogen.

BMW hydrogen-electric powertrain

BMW additionally manufactures its personal stress plate, by means of which hydrogen and oxygen are delivered to the stack. It is made out of forged plastic and steel alloys on the identical Landshut, Germany, foundry because the stack enclosure.

The fuel-cell stack is mixed with BMW’s fifth-generation electric-powertrain {hardware} from the iX crossover and i4 sedan. Whole output is 374 hp, however that is achieved with a battery buffer that kicks in when accelerating or overtaking. The fuel-cell stack has a steady output of 170 hp by itself, in accordance with BMW.

BMW hydrogen-electric powertrain

BMW hydrogen-electric powertrain

The fuel-cell X5 is not due for quantity manufacturing however might assist decide how extensively it’d undertake the tech sooner or later. BMW is making room for hydrogen in its future automobiles—even perhaps within the platform underpinning the Neue Klasse EVs scheduled to debut in 2025.

Even this small-scale dedication to fuel-cell passenger automobiles more and more makes BMW an outlier within the auto trade.

Rival Mercedes-Benz has opted to not deliver the hybrid F-Cell fuel-cell EV to america, and is shifting fuel-cell growth assets to business vehicles. And different corporations that have been large on the tech in passenger automobiles a couple of years again—like Normal Motors, and even Hyundai—have pivoted to bigger truck makes use of.

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