BMW iX5 Hydrogen Passes Winter Test, Gets Green Light for Production

BMW’s iX5 Hydrogen is an SUV that uses electric motors to move, but instead of having a heavy battery under the floor, it consumes star fuel from a tank. Don’t laugh or look confused because hydrogen is what most stars burn to produce energy during fusion – a process you might have heard of.
BMW iX5 Hydrogen 6 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW iX5 Hydrogen Winter TestingBMW iX5 Hydrogen Winter TestingBMW iX5 Hydrogen Winter TestingBMW iX5 Hydrogen Winter TestingBMW iX5 Hydrogen Winter Testing
But hydrogen plays a key role on Earth too. While it is the most abundant gas, this element is important for humanity and life in general. If you’re asking why then we’ll just mention this little thing: water.

Now hydrogen has the chance to clean up our world. It can change how we currently understand filling up our cars. It has the potential to make fossil fuels irrelevant. There are still some hiccups down the road, but companies are continuously trying to find the best solution possible. That’s one of the reasons why BMW has decided to go ahead with the iX5 Hydrogen. It will be put into production, but only for a limited run as the 2022 model year. The carmaker doesn’t say how many it will make.

You may be inclined to ask why, but the Germans say using hydrogen-powered vehicles is no different than how we already are accustomed to our internal combustion engine cars. Filling up takes minutes, and the behavior of these cars is similar to those on gas. Winter testing has revealed that low temperatures don’t change the efficiency of the powertrain. Full power is available shortly after starting the car, according to BMW. Moreover, the range doesn’t change as drastically as it happens with EVs. Batteries don’t do well in the northern hemisphere, but, apparently, hydrogen bodes well.

If you’re into tech or you just like to read about cars every day, then the term ‘fuel cell electric vehicle’ (FCEV) isn’t something new to you. An FCEV is actually very similar to a ‘battery electric vehicle’ and to a conventional one too. The FCEV uses electric motors to power itself, while consuming gas (literal gas, not gasoline) from a tank for this action. But instead of burning fossil fuels and producing harmful emissions, it just spits out water out of its rear end. The iX5 Hydrogen might not be the best car to make you remember FCEVs as it is just finishing its last tests, but the Toyota Mirai might do the trick.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles aren’t yet ready for everybody to use. These cars might be the answer to make fossil fuels irrelevant together with EVs, but as it still is the case with electric cars and many areas around the globe, filling up with hydrogen remains an issue that needs solving. Gas stations are everywhere, and they still have the upper hand.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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