From 2022, the BMW Group will pilot a small series of the fuel cell vehicle BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, which is based on the current BMW X5 and is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell e-drive. In developing this vehicle, the BMW Group is building on its experience with fifth-generation electric drives.
The Lightweight Construction and Technology Center (LuTZ) in Landshut plays an important role in that it produces essential components for the hydrogen-electric drive train and supplies them for the installation of the fuel cell system in Munich.
At the production site in Lower Bavaria, the stacked housing made of light metal, in which the fuel cells are housed, and the media end plate made of cast plastic and light metal, which creates an airtight and watertight seal around the stacked housing.
« Media » as used herein refers to hydrogen, oxygen and coolant that are directed through the media end plate into the housing to initiate the chemical reaction in the fuel cells. These complex components have been specially developed to withstand prolonged contact with hydrogen.
The fuel cell system of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is continuously fed with hydrogen from CFRP tanks and generates up to 125 kW of electrical power for the electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Two 700 bar tanks, which together hold six kilograms of hydrogen, offer a large range in all weather conditions and can be refilled in just three to four minutes.
The electric motor in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is the same highly integrated fifth generation e-drive that is used for the first time in the BMW iX3. The high-voltage battery located above the E-Drive serves as a power buffer and offers additional dynamics for acceleration. The drive train system delivers a total output of 275 kW (374 PS).
Having the lightweight construction and technology center here gives us a real advantage over our competitors. We have the ability to innovate and industrialize. We are able to develop strategically important innovations ourselves and at the same time reliably evaluate external partners and suppliers.
BMW recently held a « Hydrogen Technology Day », which the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger and the board member of the BMW Group, Dr. Andreas Wendt, visited, presented the capabilities of LuTZ.
I am convinced that hydrogen technology will gain in importance – and I am determined to make Bavaria a high-tech location for hydrogen technology. This is a constructive response to the climate debate. The focus is now on building a hydrogen infrastructure on a national and international level, from production to application.
Here in our lightweight construction and technology center, we create important innovations for the mobility of the future. We develop highly complex components that are tailored to the requirements of our cars. In this way, the location makes an important contribution to the company’s conversion to electromobility. Our in-house component production in Landshut serves more than ever as a driver of innovation.
The BMW Group sees hydrogen vehicles as best suited for customers who often drive long distances, need a lot of flexibility or do not have regular access to the electric charging infrastructure. As with conventional fuels, refueling only takes a few minutes. Vehicles that run on hydrogen, which is generated with renewable energies, can make an important contribution to achieving the climate targets.
However, the prerequisites for being able to offer BMW Group customers a hydrogen vehicle have not yet been met. Further commitment is required – particularly with regard to the hydrogen filling infrastructure and the requirements in the entire energy system, where green hydrogen must be available in sufficient quantities and produced at competitive prices for individual mobility.
In Germany, the European Union and other important regions of the world, legislators have recognized the importance of green hydrogen for the energy system of the future. The European Union has made hydrogen technology a priority with the “Green Deal”. Important Asian markets such as Japan, Korea and China have shown a keen interest in building an infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles. Conditions for vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells will develop differently around the world, said BMW.
Posted on May 4, 2021 in Fuel cells, hydrogen, manufacturing, vehicle manufacturers | Permalink
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