BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell SUV will enter mass production as early as 2025: executive.
The automaker is considering cooperation with Toyota beyond the jointly developed iX5 Hydrogen.
BMW will begin mass-producing and mass-selling fuel cell vehicles jointly developed with Toyota Motor as early as 2025, sales director Pieter Nota told Nikkei, highlighting the German automaker’s push towards greener cars amid increasingly stringent environmental regulations in Europe.
BMW unveiled the iX5 Hydrogen fuel cell concept car at the German International Motor Show in September 2021. Small-scale production of the sport utility vehicle will begin before the end of 2022, the company previously said.
FCVs can be refueled in three to four minutes – much faster than a battery electric vehicle. Although BMW hasn’t revealed the iX5’s lineup, the model comes with two fuel tanks weighing around 6 kilograms to enable long-distance travel.
Pierre Notethe head of sales said:
We find that hydrogen fuel cell technology is particularly relevant for large SUVs.
The iX5 is based on BMW’s X5 SUV. BMW and Toyota have also jointly developed sports cars since their partnership in 2013, launched as the BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra in 2019.
“We have various projects we are working on with Toyota,” Nota said, hinting at new collaborations with the Japanese automaker.
BMW will also accelerate its transition to electric vehicles. It is currently targeting 50% of new group sales – including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands – to be electric by 2030. Electric vehicles account for a larger share of sales than expected, and “perhaps if the current speed remains, we can reach those 50% one or two years earlier,” Nota said.
But Nota highlighted the remaining obstacles for electric vehicles. “The charging infrastructure is not the same everywhere,” he said. He also cited a lack of availability of the necessary materials.
Gasoline-powered vehicles, including hybrids, are still expected to make up around half of the group’s sales in 2030. “We are also maintaining our investments on the combustion engine side,” Nota said.
“We believe in the importance of various technologies – battery electric vehicles, as well as hydrogen and efficient combustion engines – because we don’t want to put all our investments in one area,” he said. declared.
A prolonged shortage of parts is weighing on BMW’s strategy. Electric vehicles require more chips than motor vehicles, and automakers across the board are under pressure to ensure sufficient supplies.
BMW is responding to the challenge by securing long-term contracts to source chips used by its parts suppliers. It signed a contract with Inova Semiconductors and GlobalFoundries in late 2021 for smart LED chips.
BMW is believed to be guaranteed millions of units a year under the deal. BMW plans to expand this approach both in terms of total volume and variety of semiconductors.
Large automotive suppliers like Bosch and Continental traditionally hold significant purchasing power in Europe. But given the global shortage of semiconductors, automakers cannot secure enough chips by relying solely on these suppliers, Nota said, explaining BMW’s efforts to expand its own supply chains.
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BMW fuel cell SUV to enter mass production as early as 2025: executive, Tokyo, August 12, 2022