BMW i Hydrogen Next: with a touch of Toyota

The Frankfurt IAA was the podium on which BMW presented the Concept 4 last year, but the brand had more news to bring to the fore. For example, BMW gave a clear signal with the i Hydrogen Next: BMW is also going to the fuel cell. Now the brand sheds light on the drivetrain of its innovative SUV.

Just like many other manufacturers, BMW also has big plans in the electrical field. For example, BMW will be introducing the all-electric iX3 this year, and will launch the i4 and the iNext next year. By 2023, BMW plans to have a total of 25 electrified models in its international line-up. This also includes cars with a fuel cell on board. Last year BMW already showed the first photos of the i Hydrogen Next, a car that the brand is now releasing more information about.

The i Hydrogen Next is in fact nothing more than an X5 with a fuel cell on board, but we are short of BMW’s first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The i Hydrogen Next, which will hit the road in a small test series in 2022, naturally has an interesting drivetrain under its well-known carriage. The i Hydrogen Next has a 375 hp electric motor on board, a copy that draws its electric zest for life from electricity obtained from hydrogen. The i Hydrogen Next has two tanks on board that together store 6 kilos of hydrogen. Although BMW will send its first FCEVs out the door in two years’ time, consumers will have to wait longer for a version that will actually be on sale. “A consumer fuel-powered BMW will arrive at the earliest in the second half of this decade,” writes BMW. Not before 2025.


BMW has not fully developed the technology of the i Hydrogen Next itself. Since 2013, the brand has maintained a partnership with Toyota, a brand that has been at home in hydrogen land for many years, including the Mirai and various Japanese projects. Among other things, the two companies are working together on the development of hydrogen powertrains that are modular and can therefore be topped in cars of different sizes. The fuel cells come from Toyota, while BMW says it has developed most of the remaining hardware itself. The i Hyrdrogen Next is not the first BMW with a fuel cell on board that BMW screens with. In 2015, a small fleet of 5-series GT with such a drivetrain was dispatched as part of test work. The fuel cell of those cars also came from Toyota. In 2006 BMW already sent the Hydrogen 7 out the door, a 7 series with a fuel cell on board.

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