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BMW is making room for hydrogen in next-generation Neue Klasse EV

BMW may engineer its next-generation EV platform to accommodate hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains as effectively.

As reported by Automotive Information, BMW chairman Oliver Zipse talked about this through the automaker’s latest half-year earnings name, saying fuel-cell autos shall be wanted to realize BMW’s electrification objectives. BMW is aiming for half of its international gross sales by quantity to be electrical by 2030.

Zipse known as hydrogen “the lacking piece of the puzzle that may complement electromobility in locations the place battery-electric drivetrains are unable to achieve traction.” However he did not present particulars on how far alongside BMW is in growth of a fuel-cell Neue Klasse mannequin.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen prototype

BMW iX5 Hydrogen prototype

The Neue Klasse (German for “New Class”) platform itself will help a household of battery-electric fashions scheduled to launch in 2025. The identify is a nod to the unique Neue Klasse, a household of fashions that, beginning with the 1500 sedan, successfully saved BMW within the Sixties and established the automaker’s fashionable identification.

BMW has hinted that the electrical Neue Klasse fashions will embrace a sedan and SUV sized near the present 3-Collection and X3, respectively. That makes them potential rivals for the Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y.

This plan would successfully break up the 3-Collection—together with associated physique types at the moment badged because the 4-Collection—into two platforms from 2025 on: one for inside combustion and the opposite for electrical. Zipse has already mentioned that every one EVs based mostly on devoted platforms look alike, so count on these fashions to face out in design as effectively.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen prototype

BMW iX5 Hydrogen prototype

Adapting the Neue Klasse platform for gas cells may not be easy. Hydrogen must be saved in cylindrical tanks, so it presents far higher packaging challenges than batteries.

BMW remains to be readying its iX5, which marries a Toyota fuel-cell stack with fifth-generation BMW electric-drive tech within the physique shell of the X5 SUV. First seen on the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Present, it is anticipated to be bought in very restricted numbers, and will not make it to the USA.

German rival Mercedes-Benz has opted to not carry its F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell car to the U.S., as was initially deliberate. Just like the iX5, the F-Cell relies on an present SUV, on this case the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Mercedes has shifted fuel-cell growth sources away from passenger automobiles towards industrial autos.

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