BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoes grueling testing in the desert

Vlad, 07 September 2023

After having started production of the hydrogen cells for the iX5 Hydrogen in September of last year, BMW finally made the car official this February.

Today, the company is bragging about the iX5 Hydrogen's endurance in extreme testing conditions. The vehicles in the pilot fleet have just completed an intensive round of hot-weather testing in the United Arab Emirates for the first time.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoes grueling testing in the desert

The fuel cell drive system "performed impressively", BMW says, withstanding outside temperatures of up to 113°F with no issues, as well as sand and dust, varying gradients, and significant fluctuations in humidity.

The Munich-based development team for this model examined both the functionality of all the electric systems under the extreme conditions, as well as the provision of cooling power to enable the full performance of the iX5 Hydrogen. BMW says that, even in such challenging conditions, "the vehicles were able to ensure the driving dynamics for which BMW is renowned".

BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoes grueling testing in the desert

Vehicles from the iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet are "currently in action", whatever that means, in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, the USA, and the Middle East. BWM wants to "shine a spotlight on the everyday usability of hydrogen-powered vehicles", again, whatever that means. Beyond all the fluffy marketing speak, BMW is also looking to "gain important knowledge for the development of a potential series-produced model".

In fact, BMW is saying that it's "using the pilot fleet to provide support on a regional level for the development of a refueling infrastructure" for hydrogen, which brings us to the usual chicken vs. egg conundrum. There's no fueling infrastructure because there are (almost) no hydrogen cars out there, and there are (almost) no hydrogen cars out there in part because there's no fueling infrastructure. Seems like BMW will be having a lot of fun with this project in the future.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen undergoes grueling testing in the desert

The company goes on to boast about how it's "applying a 'technology-open' approach", "adapting to different customer requirements, infrastructure standards and political and regulatory landscapes in the various regions of the world". Sure, but the iX5 Hydrogen still seems like someone's pet project, that sounds very nice in theory but will never actually become a viable mass-market product. We're happy to be proven wrong, however.

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