The BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoes the final winter tests in the Arctic Circle

BMW is pushing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in addition to pure battery electric vehicles. The next iX5 Hydrogen is undergoing the final winter tests on public roads and at the Group’s test center in Arjeplog, northern Sweden.

The integrated function test and protection of the fuel cell system, hydrogen tanks, energy buffer battery and central vehicle control unit clearly show that this additional option for CO2-free mobility can reliably providing long-lasting driving pleasure with a high level of comfort and unlimited performance even at extreme sub-zero temperatures.


With testing in the Arctic Circle, BMW is continuing development of the iX5 Hydrogen, and a small series of this model will be produced later this year.

At the same time, the company has undertaken to extend the network of hydrogen service stations.

Winter testing under extreme conditions clearly shows that the BMW iX5 Hydrogen delivers top performance even at temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero, making it a worthy alternative to the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). In order to be able to offer our customers an attractive offer of sustainable mobility with a fuel cell, a sufficient hydrogen infrastructure is also necessary.

Frank Weber, head of development at BMW.

According to BMW, the hydrogen fuel cell drive is just as suitable for everyday use as a conventional combustion engine, especially at very low temperatures. Full system power is available shortly after startup. The autonomy of the powertrain remains unlimited even “cold”. Moreover, filling the hydrogen tanks only takes three to four minutes, even in the middle of winter.

Regardless of the time of year and outside temperatures, the hydrogen fuel cell drive system combines the best of both powertrain worlds: the locally emission-free mobility of an electric vehicle and the unlimited ability to daily use, including short stops to refuel, as is the case. usual for combustion engine models.

Jürgen Guldner, Head of Fuel Cell Technology and Automotive Projects at BMW Group.

The drive system of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen combines fuel cell technology with an electric motor.

The energy carrier is hydrogen, which is stored in two 700 bar carbon fiber reinforced plastic tanks.

The fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity, generating 125 kW/170 hp.

In addition, the electric motor can use energy stored in a battery. This is charged by recovery or by the fuel cell. This means that a system output of 275 kW/374 hp is available for particularly dynamic driving situations. The only emission from the fuel cell is water vapour. BMW engineers use waste heat to heat the interior.

It remains to be seen whether BMW will later build hydrogen electric vehicles into full-scale production. In a recent press release, it is stated:

The BMW i brand, fully focused on zero-emission mobility at the local level, could in the future offer vehicles equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell in addition to battery-electric models. In this way, the mobility needs of customers who do not have their own access to electric charging infrastructure, who frequently travel long distances or who want a high degree of flexibility can be met in particular.

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