The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has successfully completed rigorous hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates, facing scorching temperatures up to 45°C, sandy conditions, steep gradients, and varying humidity levels. This impressive performance demonstrates that the car is capable handling extreme South African conditions.
The advanced fuel cell system, two hydrogen tanks, electric motor, and power battery, along with the central vehicle control unit, showcased their outstanding functionality and ability to maintain peak performance under these challenging circumstances. BMW's commitment to delivering top-notch driving dynamics was evident throughout the testing process.
Currently, vehicles from the BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet are on the road in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA, and the Middle East. This global presence aims to highlight the practicality of hydrogen-powered vehicles while gathering valuable insights for potential mass production. The BMW Group is actively supporting the development of a comprehensive refueling infrastructure compatible with 700-bar refueling technology for a wide range of vehicles, from passenger cars to buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, on a regional level.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen offers an ideal combination of long-distance capability and quick refueling, all while producing zero local emissions. If the necessary infrastructure is established, hydrogen fuel cell technology could become a significant component of the BMW Group's future drive system portfolio, which aligns with the evolving automotive landscape in South Africa.
As part of its adaptable approach, the BMW Group remains open to various drive systems to meet diverse customer needs and regional standards. This flexibility positions the company to respond swiftly to market demands, ensuring an attractive offering for South African customers.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen boasts a fuel cell system generating 125 kW and a highly integrated drive unit using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, incorporating the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics in a compact housing. The overall drive system output reaches 295 kW, with hydrogen stored in a pair of 700-bar tanks made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). These tanks can hold around six kilograms of hydrogen, providing the BMW iX5 Hydrogen with a range of 504 km in the WLTP cycle, making it a promising option for South African roads.