2024 BMW iX5 Hydrogen review: Quick drive

BMW iX5 Hydrogen FCEV LANG LANG HERO 16x9 1.jpg

BMW iX5 Hydrogen FCEV LANG LANG HERO 16x9 1.jpg

Hydrogen passenger cars are a topic of debate, with some hailing them as the best idea while others criticize them as the worst idea in the world. Action on climate change and the transition to cleaner transport options are ongoing trends.

BMW is exploring a different path with its iX5 Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, standing out with its unique features and potential benefits over regular EVs. The brand claims that the hydrogen fuel cell technology is more planet-friendly and overcomes some of the limitations of traditional electric cars, but skeptics argue that hydrogen may not be feasible on a large scale.

By the end of 2024, BMW will decide whether to move forward with hydrogen power production, which could see a hydrogen BMW in showrooms by 2030. The iX5 FCEV has undergone global testing and is now touring Australia.

While the cost and specific features of the iX5 Hydrogen are yet to be confirmed, BMW expects it to be priced similarly to battery electric models. The vehicle’s interior is comparable to the conventional X5, with some unique trim options and branding elements.

Under the hood, the iX5 FCEV features a fuel cell and electric motor setup that relies on hydrogen rather than a large battery pack. This design allows for quick refueling and claims to provide benefits in terms of range and suitability for towing.

During a test drive, the iX5 Hydrogen performed silently and smoothly, reminiscent of an electric vehicle. The handling and driving dynamics were impressive, although some limitations were noted in terms of acceleration at higher speeds.

In conclusion, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen presents an intriguing alternative to traditional EVs, offering the convenience of quick refueling and potential environmental benefits. However, the widespread adoption of this technology faces challenges related to infrastructure and cost. The future of hydrogen-powered vehicles remains uncertain, but manufacturers like BMW are ready to embrace it if the conditions are right.

Hydrogen passenger cars are a divisive topic, with some seeing them as a long-term solution to climate change and others dismissing them as impractical. BMW is one of the manufacturers exploring hydrogen technology with their iX5 Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). The iX5 looks like a regular BMW X5 but operates using hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity, with the only by-product being water. BMW is considering production of the iX5, with a decision expected by the end of 2024. The car is powered by a fuel cell and a small lithium-ion battery, and refuelling the hydrogen tanks takes less than five minutes. The driving experience is similar to that of an electric vehicle, with instant torque and a smooth, quiet ride. However, the lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure remains a significant obstacle to the widespread adoption of hydrogen passenger cars. BMW and other manufacturers are prepared to produce hydrogen-powered vehicles, but the development of refuelling infrastructure will require time and investment. Despite the potential benefits of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, their future remains uncertain due to the challenges of infrastructure development.

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