The BMW Group has begun the manufacture of a small-series hydrogen-powered car, known as the iX5 Hydrogen model, with work taking place at the firm’s Munich Research and Innovation Centre.
The car will be the first Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) to feature this futureproof fuel source after a successful round of intense hydrogen fuel cell testing in demanding conditions. Once ready, the iX5 Hydrogen will head to the Middle East in the spring of 2023, where it will become a technology demonstrator of carbon-free mobility.
As for the car itself, the iX5 Hydrogen features an electric motor and high-performance battery positioned in the rear axle, using the same BMW eDrive technology that can also be found in the company’s electric and plug-in hybrid models.
Across the Middle East, clean energy adoption has become a strategic priority, with several countries aiming for net-zero emissions targets by 2050. As part of a more significant push into alternative energy sources, the region aims to capture a large portion of the global hydrogen market.
“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source that has a key role to play as we progress towards climate neutrality,” says Frank Weber, board member of BMW AG.
The charging infrastructure for typical electric vehicles isn’t uniformly spread across the Middle East, where, for obvious reasons, petrol still dominates as a fuel source. BMW’s hydrogen fuel cells are highly desirable in these kinds of scenarios, as they allow faster fueling and longer ranges than a typical EV could achieve.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.