Home / Home / BMW i Hydrogen NEXT Fuel Cell Making Steady Progress


The reality is that BMW i hydrogen power for automobiles is not far away. In fact it’s much closer than you think.

BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

Alternative fuels are fast showing their need to be mainstream and a push with BMW i hydrogen power is only going to get the rolling ball gain even more momentum. Developing alternative powertrain technologies is now an even higher priority for BMW. The Bavarian premium carmaker has now given us a virtual insight into the powertrain system for the new BMW i Hydrogen NEXT. With it, they reaffirm their commitment to following a carefully considered and systematic route to emission-free mobility. This approach also includes the consideration of differing market and customer requirements as part of the company’s “Power of Choice” strategy. Their approach is customer-centric and has the flexibility needed to facilitate the breakthrough for sustainable mobility on a global level.

BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

Jürgen Guldner, Vice President of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects at the BMW Group, explained the creation and capabilities of the BMW i Hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, shown earlier, is powered by a fuel cell system that is capable of generating up to 125 kW (170 hp) of electric energy from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen from the ambient air alone. This means the vehicle emits nothing but water vapour. The electric converter located underneath the fuel cell adapts the voltage level to that of both the electric powertrain and the peak power battery, which is fed by brake energy as well as the energy from the fuel cell. The vehicle also accommodates a pair of 700-bar tanks that can together hold six kilograms of hydrogen. This guarantees a long range regardless of the weather conditions, and refuelling only takes three to four minutes.

The fifth-generation eDrive unit, that’s set to make its début in the BMW iX3, is also fully integrated into the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT. The peak power battery is positioned above the electric motor and injects an extra dose of dynamics when overtaking or accelerating. The total system output of 275 kW (374 hp) – matching the now defunct i8 – is more than sufficient to experience the typical driving dynamics for which BMW are renowned. This hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain see its first real-world application in a small series production of the current X5 that BMW plans to present in 2022. A series-production offering from BMW powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology will only arrive in global markets in the second half of this decade at the earliest, depending on the global market conditions and requirements.

BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

Collaboration with Toyota

The BMW Group’s alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation has seen a successful partnership that goes back seven years to 2013. To ensure they are prepared to meet the technological demands of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle by the second half of this decade both manufacturers have joined forces to work on fuel cell powertrain systems and scalable, modular components for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles under a product development cooperation agreement. Fuel cells from the cooperation with Toyota will be deployed in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, alongside a fuel cell stack and overall system developed by the BMW Group.

As well as partnering on the development and industrialization of fuel cell technology for the mass market, the two companies are also founding members of the Hydrogen Council. Since 2017, several leading companies in the energy, transport and industrial sectors have also joined the Hydrogen Council, taking its roll-call to over 80 members.

Also read: New Toyota Mirai Packs Enhanced Hygrogen Fuel Cell Tech


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


Recent posts in Home


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code

× one = 2

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *