BMW has released the first details of its i Hydrogen powertrain, which is currently under co-development with Toyota Motor Corporation. The German OEM claims that the system can be refueled in under four minutes and is currently capable of producing 170ps.
“The fuel cell system for the powertrain for the BMW i Hydrogen Next generates up to 170ps of electric energy from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen from the ambient air,” explained Jürgen Guldner, VP for hydrogen fuel cell technology and vehicle projects at BMW.
The electric converter located in 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 6kg of hydrogen.
“This guarantees a long range regardless of the weather conditions,” added Guldner. “And refueling takes only three to four minutes.” The fifth-generation eDrive unit, which is set to debut in the BMW iX3, is also fully integrated into the BMW i Hydrogen Next.
The peak power battery, positioned above the electric motor, injects extra power when overtaking or accelerating. The total system output of 375ps ensures the typical driving dynamics for which BMW is renowned. This hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain will be piloted in a small series vehicle based on the current BMW X5 in 2022.
A customer offer powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology is expected to be brought to market in the second half of this decade by BMW, depending on the global market conditions and requirements.