The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has taken on hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates where it faces temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius, along with other factors such as sand, dust, humidity and gradients encountered in the environment.
The development team for the iX5 Hydrogen is based in Munich, Germany, and has examined the functionality of the vehicle’s electric systems and and its cooling provisions for providing full performance, along with ensuring the driving dynamics for which BMW is known, the carmaker said.
This version of the hydrogen-fuelled X5 has been revealed before in February this year, when a pilot fleet of nearly 100 vehicles was deployed for trials across varying target user groups. Essentially a range-extender hybrid vehicle, the iX5 Hydrogen packs a hydrogen fuel cell stack that generates up to 125 kW (170 hp) from hydrogen while emitting pure water.
The vehicle isn’t limited to the output from the fuel cell stack as there is also a battery electric motor setup that provides 231 hp, and the iX5 Hydrogen will output up to 401 hp with both systems combined, enabling a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of under six seconds.
Vehicles from the pilot fleet are currently active in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the United States and the Middle East, and the pilot fleet is being used on a regional level to support development of a refuelling infrastructure that uses 700-bar refuelling technology across a range of vehicles, from passenger cars and small vans, to buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, says BMW.
Long-distance capability with short refuelling stops and ‘locally emissions-free driving’ are touted as the traits of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, which the carmaker says can serve as another pillar in the BMW Group’s future drive system portfolio – “provided the relevant framework is in place,” it said.
The lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged through the motor’s brake energy recuperation, while the hydrogen for the fuel cell is stored in a pair of 700-bar carbon-fibre reinforced plastic tanks. Together, these store six kg of hydrogen, which gives the iX5 Hydrogen up to 504 km of range on the WLTP testing standard.
The German marque’s hydrogen-powered X5 was shown at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show as the i Hydrogen NEXT Concept, which BMW has said last year to exist for ‘strengthened geopolitical resilience’ through reduced dependence on critical raw materials such as cobalt, lithium or nickel.
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