The vehicles in the BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet, launched in February this year, have completed an intensive round of hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates for the first time, BMW announced. The car’s fuel cell drive system performed in the face of temperatures rising to 45°C (approx. 113°F), as well as sand and dust, varying gradients and significant fluctuations in humidity.
BMW said the fuel cell system, two hydrogen tanks, electric motor and power battery teamed up with the central vehicle control unit to demonstrate performance and state of readiness in these conditions. The Munich-based development team examined both the functionality of all the electric systems under extreme conditions and the provision of the cooling power to enable the full performance of the vehicle despite the conditions.
Vehicles from the pilot fleet are currently in action in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the US and the Middle East. The BMW Group said it is using the pilot fleet to provide support on a regional level for the development of a refueling infrastructure that can be used with 700-bar refueling technology across all categories of vehicles – from passenger cars and small vans to buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
BMW said the iX5 Hydrogen combines long-distance capability and short refueling stops with locally emission-free driving. As part of its ongoing transformation, the BMW Group said it is applying a “technology-open” approach when it comes to drive systems. The company is therefore adapting to different customer requirements, infrastructure standards and political and regulatory landscapes in the various regions of the world.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has a fuel cell system generating an output of 125 kW/170 hp and an integrated drive unit using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology (the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are grouped together in a compact housing). The output of the overall drive system is 295 kW/401 hp. The hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell is stored in a pair of 700-bar tanks made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Together, these tanks can hold around six kilograms (approx. 13.2 lbs) of hydrogen. This storage capacity gives the BMW iX5 Hydrogen a range of 504 km (313 miles) in the WLTP cycle.