BMW iX5 Hydrogen Pioneers Green Mobility in South Africa

BMW is producing under 100 iX5 Hydrogen SUVs, but they won’t be available for purchase. Similar to past V12-powered hydrogen projects, these emission-free vehicles make up a test fleet spread worldwide, with a special focus on South Africa. 

The South African BMW branch partnered with Anglo American Platinum and Sasol South Africa Limited to assess the iX5 Hydrogen’s real-world performance on public roads. The deal was inked at the 2023 South African Green Hydrogen Summit in Cape Town. Sasol will supply the required hydrogen, while the SUVs are built in South Carolina and customized in Munich.

The iX5 Hydrogen, developed over four years, recently underwent hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates. Equipped with two CFRP tanks holding about six kilograms of hydrogen, it offers an estimated WLTP range of 313 miles (504 kilometers) and 401 horsepower (295 kilowatts) for a sub-six-second 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration.

The iX5 Hydrogen shares its foundation with the standard model, based on the CLAR platform. BMW’s forward-looking vision extends to hydrogen vehicles for the Neue Klasse platform, originally designed for battery EVs. BMW’s high-ranking officials have made a solid commitment: a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle will be available before 2030, setting the stage for a hydrogen-powered future.

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