It is very 2020 when you write about electric cars and talk about how far they travel. BMW has launched its first fully all-electric SUV, the BMW iX3, which is quite an important car for the brand.
BMW is taking matters further with the new model and part of this involves letting it look like a normal SUV.
In the past BMW created the game-changing i3 city car and i8 hybrid sports car. The new BMW iX3 will be the brand’s first model to be produced for export at its manufacturing centre in Shenyang, China. Market launch will begin in China later in 2020 and it will be sold in Europe but not the US.
The BMW iX3 is, in many ways, a BMW X3 SUV with an electric powertrain, making it the first normal-looking electric car the German automaker has released, The Verge reported.
“Efficiency boosted significantly compared with the BMW i3 by highly integrated drive system technology. Electric motor, power electronics and transmission arranged in a central housing for the first time. Fifth-generation BMW eDrive high-voltage battery with the latest battery cell technology and gross energy content of 80 kWh enables operating range of up to 460 kilometres (285 miles) in the statutory new WLTP test cycle (up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle). BMW Group monitors compliance with environmental and social standards as part of its procurement process for the lithium and cobalt used in battery cells,” BMW said in a press release.
The BMW iX3’s battery pack can be charged at a rate of 150kW, meaning it can go from 0 to 80% charge in about 34 minutes and can take on 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range in about 10 minutes, which is respectable.
BMW has installed more than 150,000 BMW Charging points in Europe, with at least that amount in the rest of the world. BMW also has an app that recommends charging stops on long routes – showing the estimated charging time required. BMW Charging is one of the many digital innovations that’s been developed for customers.
There are other initiatives to conserve and store energy, such as brake energy regeneration, which actually takes data from the sat nav and driver assistance sensors, and deploys it accordingly. Three modes are available, and if you stick it in ‘B’, the brake regen makes it a “one-pedal” car.
There’s a single electric motor to move the SUV forward, putting out a healthy 210 kW of power (286 horsepower) which can get the iX3 from 0 to 100km/h (62 mph) in about 6.8 seconds.
Inside there is the BMW Live Cockpit Professional with BMW Maps cloud-based navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant as standard. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto preparation, Remote Software Upgrade and digital services from BMW Connected Charging also comes standard.
The BMW iX3 also has a custom driving noise.
“Together with one of the world’s most famous music composers – Hans Zimmer – we are developing BMW Iconic Sounds for our electric vehicles. The iX3 already features a first composition from this cooperation: Just press the start / stop button, and you will be surrounded by the full emotional thrill of electro-mobility. What a sound! I really like it. And you can look forward to even more BMW iconic sounds in the future,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Chairman.
BMW is increasingly concentrating on electric models.
“Now we are rapidly expanding our line-up of pure electric vehicles: Just think of the very cool MINI Electric – and now our first pure electric Sports Activity Vehicle, the BMW iX3. Next year you can look forward to the BMW i4 and the iNEXT. And I promise you, there will be many more to come,” said Zipse.
“Our timing is perfect, because customer demand is rising.
“And with convenient charging solutions at home or at work, we will boost demand even more.”
Deliveries of the BMW iX3 will start at the end of this year. It will sell for around €68,000 (about US$77,500).