In the second part of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen review, we get behind the FCEV, short for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to see how it handles an ice course in Northern Sweden. We test the car’s capabilities in cold weather temperatures (-10C / 14F) and we also go for a drifting session. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is a rear-wheel drive car which makes about 125 kW/170 horsepower, however, the energy stored in a performance buffer battery can be used for short bursts of high-performance acceleration, delivering a maximum of 275 kW/374 horsepower. And you can fell that extra power especially when you try to slide the rear-end.
This is BMW’s second attempt at a fuel cell electric vehicle. The first one was introduced in 2015 inside a 5 Series Gran Turismo prototype, part of another collaboration with Toyota. We had the chance to drive that FCEV prototype in Miramas, BMW’s testing facility in southern France. Built also in collaboration with Toyota, the iX5 FCEV is keeping BMW’s fuel cell program alive, as the Bavarians feel that hydrogen can be a very effective technology for long-distance vehicles in the future. The idea is that hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles can be used to supplement the brand’s lineup where traditional electric vehicles have difficulties. For instance, in areas that don’t have access to high-speed charging, hydrogen can be a helpful alternative.
In the end, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen feels like a battery-powered electric car, but with the great driving dynamics and balance of a BMW X5. It’s an interesting technology which could be a great transportation alternative in the future. Especially since it only takes about three to four minutes to fill up the hydrogen tanks, enough for a current estimated range of 300 miles (500 km). So how much will it cost you to fill up the hydrogen tanks?
At an average price of $10 per kilogram of compressed hydrogen, a refill of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen will set you back $60. So from that perspective, you’re trading a lower cost to recharge a BEV for a costlier, yet faster refill of an FCEV. You can watch the BMW iX5 Hydrogen Review Part 1 here and you can watch part 2 of our review right below: