The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT makes an appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show as BMW shows a hydrogen-powered X5 heading for production in 2022.
The Frankfurt Motor Show this year is dominated by electric cars, in all shapes and sizes, and hybrid cars using some degree of electrification to either add performance or improve emissions. So it’s safe to say, for now at least, that we’re heading in to an immediate future where battery powered cars are going to be the norm.
But BEVs aren’t the only route to electrification, with a number of car makers convinced that although BEVs are the answer for now, it will be hydrogen fuel cells which eventually win out.
Front of the line of car makers keeping faith with hydrogen are Hyundai and Toyota, and Toyota’s recent collaborations with BWM seem to have rubbed a bit of Hydrogen love on to the Germans.
If you were looking at BMW’s Frankfurt stand this week you may have seen a silver X5 sitting on the edge, and taken little notice. But this isn’t just an X5, it’s the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, previewing a production hydrogen X5 planned for 2022.
The production run for the Hydrogen X5 is likely to be modest – as it is for the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo – but significant enough simply because it’s going to happen.
But, just as BEVs have been, it’s chicken and egg situation; build a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and the cars will come. Until then, Hydrogen cars are going to remain thin on the ground.