The BMW Group is commencing production of its BMW iX5 Hydrogen model. Manufacture of the small-series hydrogen-powered vehicle is taking place in the pilot plant at its Munich Research and Innovation Centre FIZ. The first ever Sports Activity Vehicle featuring hydrogen fuel cell technology has already completed an intensive programme of testing under demanding conditions during the development phase and will now be used as a technology demonstrator for locally carbon-free mobility in selected regions from spring 2023. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is being built in the BMW Group’s pilot plant at its Research and Innovation Centre in Munich. This is the interface between development and production where every new model from one of the company’s brands is made for the first time. Around 900 people work there in the body shop, assembly, model engineering, concept vehicle construction and additive manufacturing. They each work on up to six vehicle projects simultaneously and are tasked with ensuring that both the product and the manufacturing process are ready for series production. In the case of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, specialists in hydrogen technology, vehicle development and initial assembly of new models have been working closely together to integrate the cutting-edge drive and energy storage technology. BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA supplies the base vehicles for the hydrogen model, which has been developed on the platform of the BMW X5. They are fitted with a new floor assembly in the pilot plant’s body shop that makes it possible to accommodate the two hydrogen tanks in the centre tunnel and under the rear seat unit. The model-specific 12V and 400V electrical systems, high-performance battery, electric motor and fuel cell are all integrated during the assembly stage, alongside standard production parts. Positioned in the rear axle area together with the high-performance battery, the electric motor is a product of the current, fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology also employed in battery electric and plug-in hybrid models from BMW. The fuel cell systems located under the bonnet of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen have been manufactured at BMW’s in-house competence centre for hydrogen in Garching to the north of Munich since August this year. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen combines all the benefits of a locally emission-free drive system with outstanding everyday usability and long-distance capabilities. This makes its hydrogen fuel cell technology an attractive complementary alternative to the battery electric drive system. This is especially true for customers for whom short refuelling stops and long ranges are a must, as well as for regions still lacking an adequate charging infrastructure.