Innovation driver for hydrogen technology and tomorrow’s sustainable CO2-free mobility

BMW:Innovation driver for hydrogen technology and tomorrow’s sustainable CO2-free mobility

+++ Bavarian Economic Affairs Minister Hubert Aiwanger and BMW
Group Board of Management Member Dr Andreas Wendt impressed by
Landshut Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre’s expertise
in manufacturing components for hydrogen propulsion

+++ Innovative capabilities and industrialisation expertise
showcased in small series of BMW i Hydrogen NEXT from 2022

Landshut. Development of CO2-free drive
technologies is a top priority for the BMW Group. Hydrogen vehicles
can also play an important role in the growth of e-mobility and will
become an additional option in the long term. Just like electric
vehicles, hydrogen vehicles come with an electric drive train.
However, they do not obtain the energy they need from high-voltage
batteries, but produce it directly on board the vehicle from hydrogen.
In this way, the use of innovative hydrogen technology can help
further decarbonisation.

The Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre (LuTZ) in Landshut
plays a key part in this by producing essential components for the
hydrogen-electric drive train that will be installed in the BMW i
Hydrogen NEXT from 2022 and supplying them for installation of the
fuel cell system in Munich. Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs
Hubert Aiwanger and BMW Group Board of Management Member Dr Andreas
Wendt were able to see the company’s strong innovation capabilities
and industrialisation expertise in the field of hydrogen for
themselves at today’s “Hydrogen Technology Day”.

“I am convinced hydrogen technology will gain traction – and I am
committed to making Bavaria a high-tech location for hydrogen
technology. This is a constructive way of responding to the climate
debate,” stated Hubert Aiwanger, Deputy Minister-President of Bavaria
and the state’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Regional Development
and Energy, on a visit to the component plant in Landshut in Lower
Bavaria. “The focus now is on building a hydrogen infrastructure at
national and international level, from production to application.”

“Here at our Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre, we are
creating important innovations for the mobility of the future,” said
Dr Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG
responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. “We are developing
highly complex components tailored to the demands of our cars. In this
way, the location is making a vital contribution to the company’s
transformation towards e-mobility. More than ever, our in-house
component production in Landshut serves as an innovation driver.”

Small series of second-generation BMW i Hydrogen NEXT from
late 2022

Hydrogen vehicles generate the electrical energy needed from hydrogen
directly in the vehicle and offer a number of advantages. They are
best suited for customers who frequently drive long distances, require
a great deal of flexibility or do not have regular access to electric
charging infrastructure. Refuelling takes just a few minutes, as it
does with conventional fuels. Vehicles that run on hydrogen produced
using renewable energy can make an important contribution to meeting
climate goals.

The BMW Group will pilot a small series of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT
from 2022, based on the current BMW X5 and equipped with a hydrogen
fuel cell e-drive that only emits water vapour. The BMW Group is
building on its experience with fifth-generation e-drives to develop
this vehicle.

However, the conditions needed to be able to offer BMW Group
customers a hydrogen vehicle are not yet in place. Further commitment
is necessary – particularly with regard to the hydrogen filling
infrastructure and requirements throughout the entire energy system,
where green hydrogen must be available in sufficient quantities and
produced at competitive prices for individual mobility.

In Germany, the European Union and other major regions of the world,
lawmakers have recognised the significance of green hydrogen for the
energy system of the future. The European Union has mad hydrogen
technology a focal point with the “Green Deal”. The BMW Group welcomes
these activities. Major Asian markets, such as Japan, Korea and China,
have expressed a strong interest in establishing infrastructure for
hydrogen vehicles. The conditions for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will
develop differently around the world.

Highly innovative components from Landshut for fuel cell

Preparations are already underway in Landshut for the fuel cell
system that will be used in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT from 2022. The
production location in Lower Bavaria will manufacture highly
innovative components for the small series: the so-called stack
housing made of light metal, which holds the fuel cells, and the media
end plate made of plastic and light metal castings, which creates an
air and watertight seal around the stack housing. “Media” refers here
to the hydrogen, oxygen and coolant that are channelled into the
housing through the media end plate to initiate the chemical reaction
in the fuel cells. These complex components are specifically designed
to withstand prolonged contact with hydrogen.

“Having the Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre here
at the site gives us a real advantage over our competitors. We have
innovative capabilities and industrialisation expertise; we are able
to develop strategically crucial innovations ourselves and, at the
same time, we can reliably assess external partners and suppliers,”
said Dr Wolfgang Blümlhuber, head of Technology Driving Dynamics,
Light Metal Casting in the Purchasing and Supplier Network. “In a
technological transformation, success doesn’t happen by itself.
Courage, pioneering spirit and a long-term shift in competence have
been part of the secret of our success in the past – and our highly
qualified employees and their willingness to change play a key role,”
according to Willibald Löw, Chairman of the Works Council of BMW Group
Plant Landshut.

Fuel cell system in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

Within the drive train, the fuel cell system of the BMW i Hydrogen
NEXT is continuously fed with hydrogen from CFRP tanks and generates
up to 125 kW of electrical power for the electric motor mounted on the
rear axle. The underlying mechanism for this is a chemical reaction
between hydrogen and oxygen, with water the only reaction product. Two
700-bar tanks, which together hold six kilograms of hydrogen,
guarantee extensive range in all weather conditions and can be
refilled in just three to four minutes.

The electric motor in the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is the same
highly-integrated fifth-generation e-drive used for the first time in
the BMW iX3. The high-voltage battery that sits above the e-drive
serves as a performance buffer and provides additional dynamics for
acceleration. The drive train system delivers a total output of 275 kW
(374 hp).

Over 40 years of experience with hydrogen technology

The BMW Group has over 40 years of experience with hydrogen
technology and more than 20 years in the field of hydrogen fuel cell
technology. Both the technology and the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT are being
developed in Munich. Hydrogen is also not new to the Landshut
location: Back in 2000, Plant Landshut fitted the technology flagship
of the day, the BMW Hydrogen 7, with a hydrogen combustion engine and
cast components shaped using sand cores. “Plant Landshut represents
the power of innovation from Lower Bavaria,” underlined Dr Stefan
Kasperowski, head of BMW Group Plant Landshut. “With the current
innovations for alternative CO2-free drive technologies,
the BMW Group is once again making a clear commitment to the
location.” As the BMW Group’s largest component plant worldwide, the
Landshut location has six different technologies at its command and
concentrates cross-technology pre-development expertise at the
Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre.

In addition, the BMW Group is already using hydrogen fuel cell
technology wherever it makes sense to do so: The fleet of several
hundred fork-lift trucks with fuel cell drive trains currently
deployed in logistics at the car plants in Spartanburg and Leipzig
will be further expanded in stages.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Communications BMW Group Plant Landshut
Eßbauer, BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Communications
Telephone: +49 151 6040 3232, Email:

BMW Group Corporate Communications
Schillmöller, Corporate Communications, Communications Purchasing and
Supplier Network,
Telephone: +49 151 601 12225, Email: Sandra.Schillmö

BMW Group Innovation Communications
Seidel, BMW Group Innovation Communications, press spokesperson,
Research, New Technologies, Innovation, Telephone: +49 151 601 90340,

Media website:

BMW Group Plant Landshut
At BMW Group Plant
Landshut, around 3,600 employees produce light metal cast engine,
suspension and body structure components, plastic components for the
vehicle exterior, carbon body components, cockpit and equipment
options, electric drive systems, special engines and drive shafts.
Plant Landshut is the BMW Group’s largest component plant and supplies
components to all BMW Group vehicle and engine plants worldwide – and
therefore for virtually every BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicle, as
well as for BMW Motorrad. BMW Group Plant Landshut stands for
component production characterised by digitalisation and geared
towards sustainability, and is committed to responsible use of
With forward-looking technologies, BMW Group Plant
Landshut assumes the role of innovation driver in the technological
transformation of the automotive sector and its supplier industry. At
the Lightweight Construction and Technology Centre (LuTZ) adjacent to
the plant, specialists from a wide range of disciplines are brought
into development processes for new vehicles in the early stages and
help actively drive sustainable development of future vehicle models.
BMW Group Plant Landshut is a socially responsible, innovative and
attractive employer for the region of Landshut and Lower Bavaria.

BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI,
Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading
premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides
premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production
network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15
countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140
In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million passenger
vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit
before tax in the financial year 2020 was € 5.222 billion on revenues
amounting to € 98.990 billion. As of 31 December 2020, the BMW Group
had a workforce of 120,726 employees.
The success of the BMW
Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible
action. The company set its course for the future early on and is
making sustainability and resource efficiency the focus of the
company’s strategic direction – from the supply chain, through
production, to the end of the use phase, for all its products.

Original Press Release