BMW's new architecture called the Neue Klasse platform is coming, which will be the basis for its new range of electric vehicles (EVs) set to launch in 2025. However, despite the platform being primarily designed for EVs, BMW is apparently exploring the possibility of making it compatible with hydrogen power.
Jurgen Guldner, the said programme's general manager, told Autoblog that BMW is working on being able to integrate hydrogen into the Neue Klasse platform. However, he said that it won't be ready by 2025 and the plan is to make it available for larger cars. After all, it has been confirmed that the first BMW Neue Klasse-based model will be a saloon and will be followed by a compact SUV, so the timeline just makes sense.
Gallery: BMW Neue Klasse Saloon Rendering by Motor1
Guldner emphasised that BMW is still in the early stages of the project and is looking at a clever packaging solution.
Since BMW is starting on a clean slate with the Neue Klasse, future-proofing the platform is more economical and efficient, especially if hydrogen is already in mind from the get-go. This allows BMW to remain flexible and open to exploring new technologies as they happen.
Guldner elaborated to Autoblog on the packaging solution for the hydrogen tanks, explaining that the plan is to have smaller tanks positioned next to each other that take up the space of an EV's battery pack. This approach would allow for more flexibility in terms of the number of tanks needed for different car models.
As Guldner pointed out, the rest of the infrastructure, such as the motor, is already in the car, so it's only a matter of finding the right design and placement for the hydrogen tanks.
The idea of hydrogen-electric Neue Klasse-based models isn't cemented just yet, but it appears that Guldner is optimistic about the potential of the technology. He called it the most exciting project that he has worked on in his 25 years at BMW and is confident that the company will continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the years to come.