BMW to launch hydrogen vehicles before 2030 but issues urgent warning to UK

The ​BMW iX5 Hydrogen

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is undergoing rigorous testing

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 26/10/2023

- 12:10

Updated: 06/03/2024

- 08:56

Many are calling on the Government to pledge support for hydrogen vehicles

Motoring giant BMW is set to launch hydrogen cars by the end of the decade, but experts are warning that the UK risks lagging behind.

One vehicle has already been announced, namely the iX5 Hydrogen, which is set to be introduced to the mainstream market by 2030.

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen consumes about 1.19 kilograms of hydrogen per 100km and produces zero emissions, with an electric range of up to 313 miles.

It has been described as a “pioneer in hydrogen-based, local emission-free mobility” and can reportedly refuel faster than battery electric vehicles.

WATCH NOW: Siobhan Baillie asks Rishi Sunak about hydrogen cars at PMQs

The iX5 is still in trial phases after being developed in Munich, with tests already taking place in extreme warm temperatures in the UAE and extreme cold temperatures in the Arctic Circle in Sweden.

Speaking at a recent hydrogen event, Dr Juergen Guldner, BMW’s general manager for hydrogen technology, said the UK Government should “get behind” hydrogen fuel.

Dr Guldner added: “I think the UK government actually does have a role, at least in including hydrogen in its mobility strategy.

“When the UK Government has a hydrogen strategy, there will be a lot of industry players that are willing to invest, that are willing to build a hydrogen economy, from production to pipeline transport, all the way to mobility and stations.

“But I think it’s lacking a little bit of public support,” he told Car Dealer Magazine.

There are just 12 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK following the closure of three Shell stations, after the brand stated there was a “lack of confidence” in the fuel.

Other parts of the world are far more prepared for the move to hydrogen including Japan and the European Union.

Japan has 164 operational filling stations, with plans to have 1,000 hydrogen stations by the end of the decade.

The European Union recently unveiled plans to develop stations along all major highways, as well as any major city with more than 100,000 residents.

Dr Guldner said the UK was “on par” with the EU when it came to hydrogen plans, but now warns that the UK has fallen behind in the pecking order.

During Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Siobhan Baillie asked Rishi Sunak whether more should be done to support the hydrogen vehicle industry.

The MP for Stroud warned that the UK was being “left behind” on hydrogen engines, as well as highlighting how crucial it was for the economy and jobs.

In response, the Prime Minister said: “Well Mr Speaker, the Government is determined to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing.

“Hydrogen fuel cells and their upstream supply chain are already in scope of the ATF and support for this fund has enabled Johnson Matthey £60million investment in Hertfordshire to develop hydrogen technologies.”


The \u200bBMW iX5 Hydrogen

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has a range of more than 300 miles and does not produce any emissions


He added that the Government would continue to look at the future possibilities of hydrogen and review the eligibility of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

You may like