BMW Testing i Hydrogen NEXT FCEV Model on European Roads
The BMW Group is beginning to test a hydrogen fuel cell drive train in everyday conditions on Europe’s roads.
The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is a fuel cell electric vehicle and the recently launched testing program will, the company says, pave the way for the BMW Group to present a small-series model – developed on the basis of the BMW X5 – using the technology.
“Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for sustainable drive trains – especially in larger vehicle classes,” said Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. “That is why road testing of near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain is an important milestone in our research and development efforts.”
A central element of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT road tests is fine-tuning the software that controls all driving and operating functions. The testing, which is conducted under everyday conditions, helps development engineers validate the efficiency, safety, convenience and reliability of all components. At the same time, the test series is designed to ensure the FCEV model keeps the driving characteristics BMW strives for its cars.
The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT uses fuel cells from the product development cooperation with Toyota. The individual cells come from Toyota, while the fuel cell stack and complete drive system are original BMW Group developments.
The complete drive system in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT combines hydrogen fuel cell technology with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Energy is generated in the fuel cell and delivers an electrical output of 125kW. An electric converter located below the fuel cell adjusts its voltage to that of the electric motor.
Energy stored in a performance buffer battery is also used for short bursts of speed for overtaking. As a result, the system delivers an output of 275kW.
The hydrogen needed to supply the fuel cell is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), which together hold 6kg of hydrogen.
29 July 2021