Fri, 18 Jun 2021

To counter electric, BMW to roll out hydrogen X5 SUV in 2022

Robert Besser
16 May 2021, 13:09 GMT+10

MUNICH, Germany: BMW is introducing a limited series hydrogen fuel-cell powered SUV in 2022 as a zero-emission alternative to electric battery cars, according to the chief executive of the German luxury carmaker.

The company is planning to manufacture the zero-emission model of the X5 SUV on a small scale next year, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse announced at a recent shareholder meeting, according to a Reuters report.

While most of the auto industry is racing to develop battery-electric cars, in response to Europe and China setting more stringent emission standards, BMW is among a small number of automakers exploring a more widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cells, which is currently impeded by insufficient fueling infrastructure.

Hydrogen fuel cells only produce water as a byproduct and offer a greater range, compared to battery-electric cars. This prospect of harmless emissions has fueled expectations of a future shift to hydrogen powered vehicles.

While Japan's Honda Motor and South Korea's Hyundai Motor have already developed fuel-cell models, BMW, which has said it is keeping its options open for the future, has partnered with Japan's Toyota Motor for installing fuel cells.

Toyota had introduced its revamped Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car last December, in a bid to promote the technology amid a surge in demand for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, announced earlier this year that it is investing in hydrogen fuel cells and is planning to roll out prototypes using the zero-emission technology on Britain's roads next year.

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