At the Munich Motor Show, BMW showcased the iX5 hydrogen fuel cell crossover. Several examples of this sustainable innovation will be built in total, but you will not be able to buy them.
Not all electric vehicles at the 2021 Munich Auto Show are equipped with batteries. We’re used to hearing about Hyundai’s plans for hydrogen-fueled vehicles, but Bavarian BMW hasn’t given up on such technologies yet. An example is the iX5 Hydrogen, which BMW unveiled to the public at the IAA Mobility 2021.
The looks of the iX5 do look like the crazy X5 M, but you won’t find 617 horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood.
Instead, you get a fancy engine cover that hides the electrical equipment. The hydrogen-fueled crossover produces a much more modest 168bhp, although in situations requiring more power, BMW says the iX5 Hydrogen can bump up the power level to 369bhp if needed. Fuel efficiency is key here, not performance.
BMW believes there is a future for hydrogen vehicles, especially in regions where high-speed electric charging is not available. To this end, BMW sees a future in which battery electric vehicles (BEVs) exist alongside fuel cell vehicles, as opposed to the modern combination of gasoline and diesel. Of course, this depends on the hydrogen infrastructure under construction, since at the moment it practically does not exist. However, with gas stations available, the iX5 could almost completely fill two carbon tanks in about four minutes.
“Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for clean engines, especially for large vehicles,” said Frank Weber, member of the BMW Development Board. “This is why road testing of near-standard hydrogen fuel cell powertrain vehicles is an important milestone in our research and development.”
We also advise you to watch a detailed test drive of the BMW Alpina XB7 2021 from the FineAuto team: