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BMW and Toyota team up to create a hydrogen-powered SUV

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Most car manufacturers have already announced their plans to electrify the lineup and phase out internal combustion engines. This gives the impression that the future belongs to electric vehicles, but BMW and Toyota are simultaneously developing hydrogen fuel cell cars.

BMW head of sales Peter Nota told the Nikkei that the brands want to sell jointly developed hydrogen vehicles as early as 2025. Nota didn’t go into specifics, but stressed that hydrogen fuel cells are especially relevant for large SUVs such as the concept BMW iX5 Hydrogen. Small serial production of this car will begin before the end of this year.

This is not the first collaboration between BMW and Toyota. The concerns have worked together on some models before, with the latest release being the recent resurgence of the Supra sports car. The Germans and the Japanese formalized their environmental alliance at the beginning of 2013, when it was planned to complete work on the hydrogen fuel cell system by 2020.

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Working on hydrogen-powered vehicles at a time when electric vehicles are rapidly taking over the market may seem strange. However, Peter Nota pointed out a number of important advantages of this technology. Hydrogen-powered cars can be refueled in just a few minutes, while electric vehicles take several times longer to charge. Nota also noted that BMW doesn’t want to put all of its investment into one technology, and that hydrogen models aren’t as prone to supply shortages as their electric counterparts.

At the same time, the Bavarian concern wants to seriously increase sales of electric vehicles. Demand for BMW electric vehicles is already higher than originally planned, and management expects it will be able to reach its target of 50% electric vehicle sales (including brands like Mini and Rolls-Royce) “one to two years ahead of time” 2030.

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