BMW has been experimenting with fuel cell technology for many years and was one of the first brands to introduce a production car back in 2005 with the E65-based 7 Series Hydrogen. Later this year, assembly of the iX5 SUV will kick off, but only a small batch will be produced. However, the German luxury marque is determined to make the tech more widely available by the middle of the decade.
Earlier this month, BMW Group Oliver Zipse said a next-generation iX5 is already being considered and that the Neue Klasse platform is being conceived to support a fuel cell. In an interview this week with Nikkei Asia, sales chief Pieter Nota said a mass-produced hydrogen car will arrive as early as 2025. Interestingly, BMW is once again teaming up with Toyota after the Z4 / Supra project. As a matter of fact, Nota added the two companies are working together on “various projects,” suggesting a deeper alliance.
Zipse previously claimed fuel cell vehicles can represent “the missing piece of the puzzle that can complement electromobility in places where battery-electric drivetrains are unable to gain traction.” BMW’s head honcho added he can “imagine a hydrogen drivetrain for this new vehicle generation” when speaking about the Neue Klasse architecture due in 2025.
BMW isn’t putting all of its eggs in one basket as it believes the best strategy is to sell battery-powered EVs alongside plug-in hybrids and cars powered solely by efficient combustion engines. By expressing its commitment to hydrogen, the car manufacturer will therefore cover all the bases and live up to its “Power of choice” slogan.
Sales of ICE cars are projected to account for half of the total annual deliveries by 2030, so it would be too premature to start discontinuing gasoline and diesel cars. Rolls-Royce has a different strategy as it’ll go purely electric by the end of the decade, with next year’s Spectre EV leading the way. As for MINI, it too will bid adieu to the combustion engine early next decade.
Source: Nikkei Asia