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Hydrogen-powered mobility: BMW, Anglo American and Sasol invest in South Africa

electric vehicle

A partnership has just been formed between the South African subsidiary of German carmaker BMW, mining operator Anglo American and chemicals giant Sasol. The aim is to accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered mobility in the rainbow nation.

Following in the footsteps of Japanese carmaker Toyota, it is now the turn of Germany’s BMW to embark on hydrogen-powered mobility in South Africa. Its subsidiary, BMW Group South Africa, has entered into a partnership with South African chemicals giant Sasol and mining company Anglo American Platinum. The three partners will be working to develop green hydrogen mobility.

For Anglo American, “this agreement is an important step in accelerating the adoption of internal combustion engine vehicles and the development of the corresponding infrastructure in the country. The growth of the mobility solutions market is a key pillar of the South African government’s green hydrogen economy strategy”.

A new range of fuel cell electric vehicles

As part of the partnership signed at the South African Green Hydrogen Summit 2023 in Cape Town, BMW will supply the hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), while Sasol will supply green hydrogen and the mobile refuelling system. These hydrogen FCEVs will be on the road in South Africa as part of an international trial of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen. This German vehicle, which has been in development for 4 years, has a range of 504 km and a top speed of 180 km/h.

For its part, “Anglo American Platinum, which supplies the platinum group metals (PGMs) used in FCEVs and has invested in hydrogen technologies for many years, will work closely with BMW and Sasol to contribute to the development of a local hydrogen-based green mobility ecosystem”, says the company headed by Craig Miller.

BMW joins Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), which is developing the second-generation Toyota Mirai, a range of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, in a partnership with Sasol and Air Products South Africa (APSA), a subsidiary of the American industrial group Air Products.