BMW releases hydrogen powertrain details

BMW releases hydrogen powertrain details

BMW has revealed new details about a hybrid powertrain which the company aims to utilise in an all-new SUV model.

Likely to first be used in a pilot vehicle from 2022, the announcement comes as part of the firm’s ‘Power of Choice’ initiative, which looks to offer customers a variety of different powertrains.

It arrives despite many other firms remaining quiet over the subject of hydrogen, with many committing to sole electric or hybrid powertrains instead. BMW, meanwhile, has been working with Toyota on the development of fuel cell technology since 2013.

BMW has detailed its new fuel cell configuration, however, showcasing it in a model based on the current X5. Called the ‘I Hydrogen NEXT’, the vehicle produces 368bhp and is can hold six kilograms of hydrogen from a pair of 700-bar tanks. In addition, refilling them can be done in a matter of minutes – eclipsing even the fastest charging times offered by current electric cars.

Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of management of BMW AG, Research and Development, said: “We are convinced that various alternative powertrain systems will exist alongside one another in future, as there is no single solution that addresses the full spectrum of customers’ mobility requirements worldwide.

BMW hybrid powertrain
The hybrid powertrain will likely be used in SUV models

“The hydrogen fuel cell technology could quite feasibly become the fourth pillar of our powertrain portfolio in the long term. The upper-end models in our extremely popular X family would make particularly suitable candidates here.”

BMW has said that this powertrain will suit larger SUVs – as a result of their greater size and weight – and that this car should arrive in 2022. The firm says that “at the earliest” the new powertrain will be available to people in the second part of the decade.

Want to keep up on our latest news?

Subscribe to our email updates now - we promise they're worth it.