BMW begins fuel cell production for the iX5 Hydrogen

Hydrogen appeared like the future fuel. Automakers have embraced battery-electric vehicles, making this implausible.

Despite the move, some companies aren't abandoning hydrogen. Hyundai, Toyota, and BMW are among the fuel's largest proponents.

The automaker has started fuel cell system manufacture in Munich. Later this year, a limited fleet of iX5 Hydrogen crossovers will be employed for testing and demonstration.

The crossover's powerplant is a hydrogen-fed fuel cell stack. The former provides power by combining hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen, charging a high-performance battery.

The battery powers an electric motor that generates 368 horsepower and allows the crossover to be operated without emissions.

BMW said the individual fuel cells came from Toyota and added the "two firms have maintained a trusting collaboration for many years and have collaborated on fuel cell propulsion systems since 2013."

BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse noted, "Hydrogen is important to climate neutrality." The company believes hydrogen-powered vehicles are technologically suited to complement battery-electric vehicles and total electric mobility.

BMW has said the technology offers "great promise for its next generation of automobiles," thus hydrogen-powered production versions seem likely.