BMW i5 Rumored To Be A Fuel Cell Crossover, Could Launch By 2020

SEP 26 2015 BY STAFF 57

The latest rumor suggests that instead of being a sedan of some type, the BMW i5 could be a crossover.

According to BMWBLOG:

“The same sources say the i5 production model will be just as spectacular in design as its i3 and i8 brothers, sans the butterfly doors. It will have an attractive appearance, but not sacrifice the comfort of their passengers.”

As for powertrain, sources are indicating that the i5 will employ a hydrogen fuel cell system

The i5 is expected to launch by 2020.

No additional information is available at this time and BMW is not confirming nor denying these rumors.


Categories: BMW


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57 Comments on "BMW i5 Rumored To Be A Fuel Cell Crossover, Could Launch By 2020"

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Hope the rumor is wrong. If it is right, hope it at least has a plug.

all i’s plug in

Beautiful design, but please ensure that a plugin version is also sold.

By 2019, Apple is going to sell their iCars and if BMW tries to dilly dally like other automakers, their market will be usurped by Tesla, Apple like companies.

Toyota’s “HydrogenGate” will put an end to this nonsense, well before 2020.

I think so, too. Those who are scientifically literate understand why hydrogen is too inefficient, too difficult to work with, and requires filling stations which are too expensive, to ever be adopted for general use as a transportation fuel.

And even those who either can’t understand the science or are just too stubborn to accept that reality, won’t be able to ignore the fact that the attempt by Toyota (and Honda and Hyundai) to sell “fool cell” cars is becoming the biggest joke in the auto industry since the Edsel.

Yeah. What’s Japanese for Edsel?
I noted the marked similarities between the two before. Its remarkable how similar the tone, mindset, group think, and homogeneous nature of its supporters, resulted in one of the greatest debacles in automotive history.
Made even more calamitous by those playing the company song loudly and long, long after the audience had left.

It became a laughing stock, and synonymous with ugliness, and being uncool, somewhat unfairly,though it had serious problems.

Worthwhile to compare the points of similarity. I wonder how many Toyota executives have watched it?

How about Edselson? i.e. Son of Edsel.

ffbj asked:

“What’s Japanese for Edsel?”


(Pushmi-Pullyu ducks)

Well played.

Quick, someone put that on a T-shirt or bumper sticker.


This is Guaranteed NOT TO SELL.

Only an IDIOT, or a management team with a goal to produce Greenwash Bullshit would put into production a Hydrogen Vehicle.

Fortunately for BMW, this car is shipping up to five years from now, not tomorrow. I didn’t realize that you could predict the future. That is a pretty amazing and unique skill. I’m impressed that you took time out from making billions in the stock market to post on this forum.

Without being all-knowing and making billions on Wall Street I predict the NAZI party will not form a government in Israel this century.

With equal confidence I can say BMW will never sell 50k hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The number of Model S Tesla is expected to deliver this year.


Drop the mic!

Germany recently invested good money to cover every 30km of the Autobahn with multiple 3-way chargers (CCS, CHAdeMO and fast AC). The stations are designes to deliver up to 150kW per plug. They will be up til 2017, the first ones already opened.

Next gen EVs with 150+ miles range are to arrive in 2017, Tesla M3 probably in 2018 in Europe. I can hardly see how these next gen EVs with this infrastructure could do so badly that there would be the need and the will to create a hydrogen infrastructure.

Until 2020 every carmaker should have realised that EVs and cheap batteries are the way to go.

I could see a small future for hydrogen in long time home storage of energy (e.g. for the winter) and maybe as a i3-like Rex in some luxury cars.

Cavaron said:

“I could see a small future for hydrogen in long time home storage of energy (e.g. for the winter) and maybe as a i3-like Rex in some luxury cars.”

I can’t. Biodiesel would be much more practical. The problems with, and limitations of, hydrogen as a fuel won’t disappear just because it’s used only for an EV range extender.

Hydrogen fuel makes sense for the booster stage of large rockets. Otherwise, not so much.

Model S P85D vs BMW M5 comparison review on drive

Tesla Model S P85D vs BMW M5 Nighthawk comparison review in Fairfax Media
The best of the old way or the beginning of the new? Story by Stephen Ottley

read it here with video:

The BMW M5 is $50k more that the fully loaded P85D, no prizes for guessing which car Stephen would rather own. Keep watching till the end of the video.

If they are going to add a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle – They would have some sense to give it a Battery Electric Range (Without the Fuel Cell running) of at lease 80 miles – or better: 100 Miles – to Beat the i3 Rex Specs on Rex Mode versus the All BEV! A FCV – that you can’t fuel near work or near home, and can’t charge up on the grid (or on Solar) and doesn’t have decent EV Range (Like the Toyota PIP [Plug-In Prius]), might sell, but never in much quantity, and for sure in limited market areas, Like – LA, Vancouver, BC, etc. To make the FCV’s a Winner at all – they need enough battery range for Daily Use, AND enough Battery Range and charging Speed (Hint – 10 Kw AC Minimum + CCS or CHAdeMO or even better – Supercharger!) that they can be run on battery while going to refuel the H2 Tanks! Using Flying Terms – for IFR Flight (Like Airliners use) in bad / Stormy weather – they need Fuel for: the Intended Trip from Departure to Destination, then enough to get to a Suitable Alternate AND an extra 45 Minutes… Read more »

99.9999% of America has NO ACCESS to hydrogen, and with stations costing 2 Million Dollars, there Never Will be a Hydrogen rollout.

With the rapid capacity increase in batteries along with rapid price drops hydrogen is dead in the “long term” of 5 years.

There isn’t an IDIOT in the WORLD who would build a hydrogen infrastructure for just 5 years of profit.

The average gas station in the US supports 2500 cars. Imagine that all of these cars went electric. It’s not a stretch to imagine that each of these owners will want, for convenience, a home charger. These currently go for $500 plus $200 for installation, for a total of $1.7 million per gas station. Viewed in this way, a hydrogen station doesn’t seem so expensive, and certainly competitive with EV infrastructure. This assumes that the cost of the cars are the same, though that seems unlikely as the Mirai already costs tens of thousands less than a Model S, yet offers more range.

Except that a $1.7 million hydrogen station could not support 2500 cars. As I recall there was a comprehensive comparison that indicated that a hydrogen station was 25 times more expensive to support 2500 cars per day.

As for me, I refuel my electrics in 12 seconds. 6 seconds to plug in at night and 6 seconds to unplug in the morning. Cannot beat that.

The biggest hydrogen fuel station in Europe supports about 30 “fool cell” cars and a few city buses.

I think the cost of hydrogen fuel stations per car would be a lot higher than you suggest, even assuming lots of them are built so you’d get the economy of scale.

Every argument in favor of the “hydrogen economy” uses massively unrealistic assumptions.

Why waste even 12 seconds ? Just park over the inductive charge plate at night.

Inductive charging really gets to much attention. 14% energy loss will continue when being a dealbreaker for most people.

And don’t let your cat go under the car, unless you want to do a weird barbecue…:)

Current H2 station plans emphasize more, smaller smaller stations at convenient locations rather then fewer, higher capacity stations. This makes sense as there are few FCEVs on the road. The latest estimates I could find ( indicate that you can scale up these stations to 7x the capacity (enough for 2,500 cars) for only 3x the cost.

For the price of one gigafactory (five billion dollars) one could buy 2,500 of the smaller stations, and that doesn’t include the per unit battery costs. There are a lot of hidden costs in battery production as well.

How and where is all that hydrogen going to be produced?

So what is the price for the gigafactory needed to produce the complex, expensive fuel cells for those hundreds of thousands of fuel cell cars?

Toyota still makes their Mirai fuel cells by hand because they haven’t found out a way to mass produce them on an assembly line.

In this comparison you have to compare apples to apples or powertrain cost to powertrain cost and then fueling station cost to fueling station cost.

Hydrogen requires a pipeline infrastructure too, far more expensive then an electrical infrastructure.

Hydrogen can not be piped long distances like liquid fuels or natural gas. It is too energy inefficient.

No it doesn’t. Onsite production from renewable sources is already availbale.

Yes, electrolyse it’s not bad, but after that you have to compress the hydrogen very hard to fill the tanks, which is very energy consumptive process. So, how many square feet of solar panels or a wind tower near habitations? For what? Producing renewable electricity to split the water molecule (with an average80% efficient), more electricity is required to compress the gas, in the car the hydrogen unite again with oxygen to produce electricity which fill a battery, and the this batteries give power to an electric drivetrain. OUF! As would say French people.
But why not to use the renewable energy locally produced to fill directly an battery in an electric car, with a almost perfect efficiency? People are they so hurry that they don’t have time to drink a coffee and go to a piss?

Kaiser said: “The latest estimates I could find… indicate that you can scale up these stations to 7x the capacity (enough for 2,500 cars) for only 3x the cost.” Your figures suggest the average H2 filling station today services, or is capable of servicing, 357 cars. Can you point to even one H2 station today that is servicing even 50 cars, or capable of doing that? I think your numbers are significantly off. According to one article I’ve read, the biggest H2 fueling station in Europe services only about 30 cars per day, plus a few city buses. It might well be possible to scale up the H2 filling stations which rely on reformed natural gas trucked in from a vendor, altho the cost will still be considerable. Those stations which generate H2 onsite will be much, much harder to scale up to a volume of production to rival a typical petrol station. We’ve already had reports of waiting lines, customers being limited to only half a tank, or customers being limited to low pressure (5000 PSI instead of 10,000 PSI) refueling, because the onsite hydrogen generators can’t keep up with demand. If the intent of “renewable” hydrogen power is… Read more »

Set aside the economic and energetic foolishness of hydrogen for a minute. Even if it made economic/energetic sense, it would be very difficult to fit a fuel cell/hydrogen tank setup in an EREV and have a marketable vehicle with sufficient passenger and storage room. Look at the Mirai construction. It took TWO hydrogen tanks taking up all the space under the rear seat and a lot of the trunk to give it 300 miles of range. And then there is the fuel cell and accessories (air compressor, coolers, etc.) Fitting those same tanks, fuel cell, AND a Volt-sized battery would be just too much.

According to Wikipedia, there will be 100 H2 stations in Germany by 2017 and 400 by 2023. If that is even remotely close to true, there will be a market for the i5.

As of September 2013, there are 15 publicly available hydrogen fuel station in operation.[6] Most but not all of these stations are operated by partners of the Clean Energy Partnership.[7] The stations nationwide are expanded to 50 by 2015 under a letter of intent[8][9] through its public private partnership Now GMBH.[10] program NIP[11] with a subsidy of 20 Million Euro.,[12] the H2 Mobility initiative wants to raise that number to 100 stations from 2015 to 2017 and to 400 stations in 2023 at a cost of €350 million Euro.[13]

There are a bunch of articles that were published in 2013 saying how California was going to have hundreds of stations by 2015. I will believe it when I see it….

Right. The only sure thing so far about hydrogen infrastructure projections is that they always miss their targets by a significant amount.

We were supposed to have 200 stations by 2010. We didn’t have anywhere close to that.

And one thing to keep in mind is even stations built can be closed. Many stations in the US were closed when the companies started realizing that hydrogen won’t be viable anytime soon for automobiles (starting with Ballard’s move away from automotive fuel cells) and the stations were expensive to maintain for something that has no demand.

Really. You think 400 stations in Germany will cover a major car rollout. Not even close.

Germany is not under the political pressure that Japan has placed on Toyota and will not be foolish enough to produce a “fool cell” vehicle. The Hyundai Tuscon is dying (never did have any sales) and the Toyota Mirai is DOA.

Hyundai is producing an all new FCEV SUV for 2018 with more speed and range:

In think you’re being too hard on the Tuscon, however. It doesn’t use a borrowed Lotus body and didn’t leave George Clooney fuming by the side of the road, after all, so by all benchmarks it was a solid first attempt.

Three Electrics said:

“Hyundai is producing an all new FCEV SUV for 2018 with more speed and range”

So then, they’ve got two years to observe how the Mirai is rapidly becoming the modern Edsel — a highly promoted, expensive car which no one wants — and two years to quit throwing money down that rathole before actually putting their fool cell car into production.

The Mirai is sold out in Japan for the next three years (, so it’s unfair to say that in nobody wants it. Given that the Edsel sold 60K cars in its first year I hope that Tesla can achieve Edsel status in 2016.

It’s not hard to sell out of a car that is:
A) Annual production is about 800 units per year.
B) The majority of the production is purchased by the government.

The Hyundai Tucson FCV leased 70 in the US last year.

There were already about two dozen FCEV fleets in the USA, each with their own private H2 fueling station. This predates the push by Toyota et al to promote “fool cell” cars.

How many of those 70 cars were leased by someone other than one of those existing fleets? I’m guessing very few or none.

Hyundai is producing a FCEV in the X35 small SUV. Sales are not great.

Q. Metaphysically this is absurd. How can the future be dead on arrival? /jk

2020? Marking my calendar as I write.

Who loves tha FCEV? I know do not want one. On the other hand I would sell my afterlife to the Devil for a Tesla. Even the basic 70D. Or a Audi E-tron Quattro, Porsche Mission E. FCEV is a regular boring car, and no one understands why you should by one. EV:s ar sexy in an other way. And more practical, cheaper to drive and just more cool.

FCEV will not sell because people do not want one. And they dont care that there is water in the tailpipe. I do not want an tailpipe. The future does not need tailpipes. That is something of the past, an 19th century invention.

I just realized that we’ve been getting ‘hosed’ for decades and didn’t even know it.

Think about it. Gas pump hoses. Hoses for diesel. CNG hoses and now finally, the last straw, the hydrogen hose.

Aren’t you tired of having the crap beat out of you by fossil fuel wise-guys and Sheiks every time you want to go somewhere in your car ?

If you install an inductive charger in your garage and play your cards just right, you can go a very long time before needing to use a public charger.

Consider this: inductive chargers at places like Costco and Walmart, or movie theaters, even football game parking lots.

Install inductive chargers. They will make the tangled electric cord mess and vandalism go away.

Stop getting “hosed”.

The Home Heating ( diesel ) price shock the east coast got a couple years ago drove the section of the country to discover home insulation.

Once a business segment has revealed itself to be crooks it time to reduce your exposure to The Mafia.

Get Off Carbon.

Such an odd rumor. I’d guess what’s really going on is that BMW plans to do a fuel cell version of this car, since the drivetrain would otherwise be the same.

It would be like the i3 and i3 Rex, except here the range extender would be a fuel cell.

It seems to me that the investment in a new body design, interior, and manufacturing line would be too great to be justified by the paltry numbers of possible fuel cell version sales.

While it is true that Toyota has done exactly that, BMW has shown a willingness to manufacture pure BEVs, while Toyota refuses to do so.

A high-voltage battery and electrical system, sharing space with tanks of combustible, liquid hydrogen under extremely high pressure?

No thanks. I already own better footwear.

Yes, and some want to have this system in their garage only to guarantee you that very few (Texon, Shell, and other big oil companies owns) hydrogen stations, it’s not a problem because you can fill your fool cell car in house as easily as a Tesla… I would name this people a danger for their entire district…

I’d like to see even one of the people who keep persisting in advocating hydrogen-fueled cars try to set up such a system at home. I strongly suspect that when the reality comes home to them, of the expense of buying and installing the equipment, the space required, and the large expense (as compared to charging an EV) of running the equipment…

Well, I rather suspect they’d abandon the idea long before they got such a system up and running.

I also hope the rumor is wrong. If it holds true, I am selling my i3 out of shame. Fuel cell technology is a big nonsense.

The interest of an i5 is to correct the micro size of the i3, by giving seating for five and a full trunk in a sedan configuration. It is also to correct the gas tank size to a more normal 10 gallon one and perhaps improve the rex by having a flex-fuel direct free piston generator instead.

But what we certainly don’t want is to replace the i3 system completely by a non-sense hydrogen fuel cell. That would be a major drawback.

I also forgot to mention four normal doors on the i5. That is also needed to improve, but not spoil, the i3.