BMW has been experimenting with fuel cell technology for many years and was one of the first brands to introduce a production car in 2005 with the E65-based Hydrogen 7 Series. Later this year, assembly of the iX5 SUV will begin, but only a small batch will be produced. However, the German luxury brand is determined to make the technology more widely available by the middle of the decade.

Earlier this month, BMW Group Oliver Zipse said a next-generation iX5 was already being considered and the Neue Klasse platform was designed to support a fuel cell. In an interview this week with Nikkei Asia, sales manager Pieter Nota said a mass-produced hydrogen car would arrive as early as 2025. Interestingly, BMW is once again partnering with Toyota after the Z4/Supra project. In fact, Nota added that the two companies have been working on “various projects” together, suggesting a deeper alliance.

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BMW iX5 Hydrogen at Arjeplog on February 22

Zipse has previously asserted that fuel cell vehicles may represent “the missing piece of the puzzle that can complete electromobility in places where battery-electric drivetrains are unable to gain traction.” The BMW boss added that he could “imagine a hydrogen transmission for this new generation of vehicles” speaking of the Neue Klasse architecture planned for 2025.

BMW isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket, as it believes the best strategy is to sell battery-electric vehicles alongside plug-in hybrids and cars powered solely by efficient combustion engines. In expressing its commitment to hydrogen, the automaker will therefore cover all the bases and live up to its slogan “Power of choice”.

ICE car sales are expected to account for half of total annual deliveries by 2030, so it would be too premature to start abandoning petrol and diesel cars. Rolls-Royce has a different strategy as it will go purely electric by the end of the decade, with next year’s Specter EV leading the way. As for MINI, it too will bid farewell to the combustion engine at the start of the next decade.

Source: Nikkei Asia