In addition to superefficient combustion engines, hybrids and electric cars, BMW is also developing fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen. In 2019, BMW presented with the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT based on the BMW X5 SUV. In the coming year, BMW wants to present the next generation of hydrogen fuel cell electric drives in a small series and now the plan has been specified.

Hydrogen-electric vehicles produce the required electrical energy directly on board from hydrogen and, according to BMW, offer several advantages: hydrogen vehicles are properly suited for customers who frequently drive long distances, need a high degree of flexibility or do not have regular access to electrical charging network. Hydrogen refuelling takes just a few minutes, similar to traditional fuels. Also, vehicles powered by hydrogen can make a significant contribution to achieving climate goals.

The second generation of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT will start in small series from the end of 2022. Current experience with current electric drives is heavily used to develop the vehicle. The fuel cell system of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, which is continuously supplied with hydrogen from CFRP tanks, generates up to 125 kW of electrical power for the electric motor on the rear axle. Two 700 bar tanks for hydrogen with a total capacity of six kilograms should allow for great ranges in all weather conditions. The refuelling time is presented as three to four minutes.

The electric motor of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is the fifth generation of the integrated electric drive, which is being used for the first time in the BMW iX3 SUV, which will be ready from this year. The high-voltage battery located above the electric drive serves as a power buffer and provides supplementary dynamism when accelerating. The drive system output is a total of 275 kW (374 hp).

BMW points out that the requirements are not yet in place to be able to offer customers a hydrogen car. In particular with the infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling as well as with the prerequisites in the entire energy system, in which hydrogen must be produced in appropriate quantities and at competitive prices for personal e-mobility. via autoexpress.

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