2022 BMW i Hydrogen NEXTBMW Group begins testing the new hydrogen fuel cell engine in everyday conditions. The prototype vehicle, BMW i Hydrogen NEXT will showcase the efficiency of the CO2-free engine and give some intel about the overall performance and engine's reliability.

This kind of technology has a long-term potential to supplement the conventional internal combustion power units, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric vehicles. In fact, it has the potential to become an attractive alternative to electrified engines, especially for those who don't have the access to charging infrastructures.

A central component of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT tests includes the fine-tuning of the software that controls all driving and operating functions. Also important at this stage is the validation of efficiency, safety, and convenience. At the same time, engineers and examiners should try to enhance this well-known BMW driving experience.

Technical aspects of the fuel-cell technology

The BMW prototype vehicle blends hydrogen fuel cell technology with the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology and delivers quite satisfactory results.

The energy is generated in the fuel cell as a result of a chemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen from the air. This approach manages to deliver a total of 170hp output and quite agile performance.

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Also, the system features a performance buffer battery which is used for dynamic acceleration and agile cornering. The idea is to ensure that the advanced system provides the same performance and feel as a six-cylinder in-line petrol unit, but with zero emissions.