BMW has committed to a wider vision of mobility that puts ‘Choice’ front and centre. Officially known as their Power of Choice strategy, this customer-centric ambition sees research and development going into multiple drivetrains, including one powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Research and Development says, “We are convinced that various alternative powertrain systems will exist alongside one another in future, as there is no single solution that addresses the full spectrum of customers’ mobility requirements worldwide.”

New BMW i Hydrogen NEXT drivetrain.

Developing alternative powertrain technologies is a top priority for the BMW Group. The premium carmaker offers first virtual insights into the powertrain system for the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT.

“The hydrogen fuel cell technology could quite feasibly become the fourth pillar of our powertrain portfolio in the long term. The upper-end models in our extremely popular X family would make particularly suitable candidates here,” said Klaus Fröhlich.

New BMW i Hydrogen NEXT.


There is no doubt as to the long-term potential of fuel cell powertrain systems, however BMW believes it will be some time before customers see a production car powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. What’s more, the infrastructure, such as an extensive network of hydrogen filling stations, is not a current reality.

“In our view, hydrogen as energy carrier must first be produced in sufficient quantities at a competitive price using green electricity. Hydrogen will then be used primarily in applications that cannot be directly electrified, such as long-distance heavy duty transport,” said Klaus Fröhlich.

New BMW i Hydrogen NEXT drivetrain.


“The fuel cell system for the powertrain for the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT generates up to 170 hp of electric energy from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen from the ambient air,” explains Jürgen Guldner, Vice President of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects at the BMW Group. This means the vehicle emits nothing but water vapour.

The vehicle also accommodates a pair of 700 bar tanks that can together hold six kilograms of hydrogen. “This guarantees a long range regardless of the weather conditions... And refuelling only takes three to four minutes,” said Jürgen Guldner,

The fifth-generation eDrive unit set to make its debut in the BMW iX3 is also fully integrated into the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT. The total system output of 374 hp fuels the typical driving dynamics for which BMW is renowned.

New BMW i Hydrogen NEXT drivetrain.


The BMW Group has been working with the Toyota Motor Corporation on fuel cell technology since 2013. The two manufacturers have joined forces to work on fuel cell powertrain systems and scalable, modular components for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The fruits of this partnership can be seen with the fuel cells deployed in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, alongside a fuel cell stack and overall system developed by the BMW Group. Also, the two companies are founding members of the Hydrogen Council. Since 2017, this council has swelled to over 80 members from leading companies in the energy, transport and industrial sectors

Discover more about the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT.

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