The long-standing Green Car partnership between BMW and Toyota is about to bear further fruit.
As Autoblog explained, said BMW sales manager Pieter Nota Nikkei in an interview that the brands intend to sell jointly developed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as early as 2025. Nota did not hint at what to expect, but stressed that fuel cells are “particularly relevant” for large SUVs like the iX5 Hydrogen concept (above). Small series production of the iX5 is scheduled to begin later this year.
BMW and Toyota have collaborated on numerous cars over the years, including the recent revival of the Supra sports car. They formalized their green vehicle tech alliance in early 2013, but didn’t expect to complete work on an integrative fuel cell system before 2020.
It may seem strange to continue work on hydrogen-powered vehicles at a time when electric vehicles are much more popular. However, Nota pointed to a number of known defenses for the technology. Fuel cell cars can be refueled in just a few minutes, while electric vehicles, for example, take many times longer to charge. Nota also said that BMW doesn’t want to put all of its investments into one technology and that hydrogen models aren’t as prone to supply shortages as their electric counterparts.
Regardless, BMW could soon push ahead with the development of electric vehicles. Pure electric cars have accounted for a larger share of sales than previously expected, and Nota suggested that the company has reached its sales target of 50 per cent for electric vehicles (including brands like Mini and Rolls-Royce) “a year or two ahead” of the current target for 2030 could reach. While BMW is still involved in the world of internal combustion engines, it may not last long.