The BMW iX5 gets a new letter: H.

While much less popular than battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars are another very viable way of going about making a car that lacks CO2 emissions. In the new BMW iX5 Hydrogen, the contents of two carbon-fiber, 700-bar hydrogen tanks are converted into electric power, which is then used to move a motor with 170 horsepower. However, power can also be stored in a battery, which receives power from energy recovery or from the fuel cell. When needed the iX5 Hydrogen can produce up to 374 horsepower from the total system.

BMW has been testing the iX5 Hydrogen at their testing grounds far north in the Swedish Lapland, and that’s because hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a unique set of advantages over both gasoline internal combustion engines and battery electric vehicles, and that has everything to do with their ability to perform in the most extreme cold weather.

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We all know what driving a gasoline car in the cold is like. Starting the car, driving it, and getting heat in the interior is all a struggle, full of discomfort and added aspects to remember and attend to ensure that your car stays in good condition. And the extreme cold isn’t the kindest to batteries, either. From experience with smartphones and other battery-powered devices in our everyday lives, we know that the cold can be tough on batteries when it comes to power consumption, and recharging technology still hasn’t managed to catch up with the speed of pumping gasoline.

Hydrogen offers unparalleled performance in these temperatures, with unfazed performance in the extreme weather, and a refueling experience with speed and efficiency more similar to gasoline cars. Along with this, BMW sees the iX5 Hydrogen as an option for those who lack access to electric charging infrastructure, but still want to drive with minimal environmental impact. BMW plans to release a small series of the iX5 Hydrogen later this year and has also announced a commitment to improving hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

Source: BMW