At the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show, BMW is introducing a new concept car – the BMW i Hydrogen Next. This new concept is a preview of a small series of hydrogen-fuel cell BMW X5 vehicles planned for 2022. The i Hydrogen Next is visually closely aligned with the BMW X5 G05 and adorned with some design elements from the BMW iX3.

At the front, the blue accents on the kidneys hint at a different type of powertrain, while the rear diffuser elements replace conventional tailpipes. The pattern’s shape and color form a dynamic flow across the front end and flanks of the Mineral White body. The detailing on the light-alloy wheels provides further confirmation of the model’s BMW i genes.

BMW has yet to comment specifically on the drivetrain implemented in the BMW i Hydrogen Next, but one thing is clear: The vehicle’s hydrogen fuel cell is the result of cooperation with Toyota.

The two companies have been cooperating since 2013 and jointly develop fuel cell drives. While Toyota has derived a production vehicle with the Mirai, BMW is aiming for larger vehicles.

The small volume BMW X5 with fuel cell announced for 2022 will not be available for sale, but will be awarded to selected customers by the BMW Group. Depending on the hydrogen conditions and the actual demand, BMW plans to offer a vehicle with a fuel cell for ordinary sale at the earliest in 2025.

Tech Tidbit: Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The BMW Group sees the hydrogen fuel cell as an important addition to the range of vehicles with electrified propulsion. The strengths of the fuel cell lie precisely in vehicle segments, which offer a large amount of space and are often used on long-haul routes.

The hydrogen tank can be filled like a conventional fuel tank in just a few minutes and gives the vehicle a long reach regardless of the outside temperature.

Three years ago, we spent some time driving a 5 Series GT Hydrogen Fuel Cell, so we expect BMW to offer some new rides before the BMW X5 Hydrogen comes to market.