BMW's new hydrogen vehicle unveiled as fuel cells set to play 'key role' for electric cars

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen

The hydrogen vehicle made its UK debut

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 14/08/2023

- 16:07

Updated: 06/03/2024

- 08:57

The hydrogen vehicle is being exhibited in the UK as BMW look to push ahead with the use of fuel cells in its fleet

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has been heralded as the next important phase as the German brand attempts to introduce hydrogen vehicles to the mainstream public.

The first vehicles will enter a pilot fleet of under 100 vehicles, with the fleet being deployed internationally for demonstration and trial purposes.

BMW says that its hydrogen fuel cell system is “further proof” of the group’s investment in electric drive technology.

The manufacturer said hydrogen acted as an “additional option” for locally emission-free mobility in the future.

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen

BMW is vying to increase its development of hydrogen fuel cells


Hydrogen is one of the core elements in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen and generates a continuous output of 170 horsepower.

The Munich-based brand has worked with Toyota to source the hydrogen cells, having collaborated since 2013.

When coasting and braking, the motor serves as a generator, with the vehicle feeding energy back into the power battery.

The fuel cells are stored in two tanks, holding six kilograms of hydrogen, enough to give the vehicle a range of 504km or 313 miles.

Refuelling the vehicle generally only takes around three to four minutes, meaning motorists do not have to worry about constantly filling up.

The iX5 Hydrogen has a top speed of over 112mph- and can accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than six seconds.

Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, said: “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.”

According to UK H2 Mobility, there are eight hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK, with a further five planned to be built.

BMW is aiming to have 50 per cent of its overall sales share be fully electric by the end of the decade, with the brand expecting to see a sales share of 15 per cent by December.


The BMW iX5 Hydrogen

Hydrogen has been described as playing a "key role"


The BMW Group argues that fuel cell electric vehicle technology is seen solely as a “potential addition” to the drive technology used within its electric vehicles.

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