BMW is one of the few brands sticking with hydrogen technology, while almost all others are making the switch to electrification their only alternative fuel option. Whether hydrogen ends up becoming useful, or just another failed technology, won’t be something we know for many more years but BMW is betting on it. One of the ways BMW is showing its love for hydrogen is by making cars like the BMW iX5. However, only about 100 iX5 Hydrogens will be made, so they’re incredibly rare, more so even than cars like the M4 CSL. Which is why it’s always interesting to see drive review videos of it like this one, from AutoTopNL.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is an interesting car because in some ways it’s more economical than EVs but in others it makes less sense. So there’s a give and take when it comes to hydrogen cars but BMW certainly feels that there’s a use-case for them. While BMW doesn’t think hydrogen is the answer, it believes hydrogen is one of the many different parts of the answer to kick fossil fuels for good.
In this video, we get to see the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, learn about its technology, and see what it’s like to drive. We don’t need to rehash all of its details of how it works, as we already have a few videos breaking down its tech. However, the basics are as follows: there’s a single rear electric motor from the BMW iX, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that’s under the hood, and a small 2.0 kWh, 400-volt battery pack under the trunk that acts as a buffer for the fuel cell’s electricity. It also helps recoup energy from regen braking. Total system power is 395 horsepower and it has about 310 miles of range on a single hydrogen fill up.
From the driver’s seat, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen seems like a normal BMW EV. It’s smooth, quiet, and has similarly immediate acceleration, just like an i4 or iX would. It’s interesting to see an X5 driving under electric power like that, as there currently isn’t an electric X5 (there’s a plug-in hybrid that can drive a bit on EV juice but not very far. So it’s interesting to see the iX5 Hydrogen drive POV, especially since it isn’t a pure BEV. If hydrogen technology can work out, I think it can be a helpful alternative fuel for many use cases, even if it isn’t the future of the automobile and videos like this one help prove that.