BMW iX3 to introduce Gen5 BMW eDrive technology; NMC-811 batteries
19 December 2019
The battery-electric BMW iX3, the production of which will commence in 2020, will offer a range of more than 440 km (273 miles) (WLTP) with a net-battery size of 74 kWh. The first purely electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) is the trailblazer for the fifth-generation (Gen5) BMW eDrive technology, which, starting 2021, will also be deployed in the BMW i4 and the BMW iNEXT.
Both the drive system and the high-voltage battery unit featuring pioneering battery cell technology have been completely redeveloped. In the BMW iX3, the related advancement ensures brand-typical driving experience combined with outstanding efficiency and a novel balance of weight and range.
The BMW iX3 is yet a further milestone in the consistent realization of the BMW Group’s electrification strategy. In 2020 the BMW X3 will become the brand’s first model available both with conventional gasoline and diesel engines as well as plug-in hybrid and purely electric drive.
The BMW iX3 is produced for the world market by the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, China.
The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is the result of consistent development work within the framework of BMW EfficientDynamics and the experience gained by the BMW Group in the field of electric mobility spanning more than 10 years.
All powertrain components used for BMW eDrive technology were developed solely by the BMW Group. Moreover, the electric motor and the high-voltage batteries are produced in corporately owned manufacturing facilities. In this way, the BMW Group ensures it has a decisive influence on the product properties and the quality of each component.
Furthermore, the drive unit and the high-voltage battery unit are flexibly scalable in terms of power and energy content and can thus be used in various different vehicle concepts and segments.
The vehicle’s fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology comprises a drive unit in which electric motor, system electronics and transmission are brought together into a central housing. As a result, the required installation space of the drive technology and its weight are considerably reduced. The ratio between motor output and weight of the drive system improves around 30% compared to the previous generation.
The electric motor featured in the BMW iX3 delivers a maximum power output of 210 kW/286 hp. The torque of 400 N·m allows for high initial acceleration and keeps a high level even at the upper motor speeds because of exclusive BMW design measures.
A further special feature of the electric motor being deployed in the BMW iX3 for the first time is a construction method that eliminates the need for rare earth materials.
The electric motor used in the BMW iX3 transfers power to the rear wheels. This effectuates a further increase in drive system efficiency. Moreover, the range of the BMW iX3 benefits from the drive design conveying the traditional BMW rear-wheel drive experience.
The high-voltage battery unit of the BMW iX3 is integral part of BMW’s fifth eDrive generation and is based on the latest evolution in NMC-811 technology in BMW typical prismatic design. The BMW Group has outstanding development capabilities in this field. This know-how flows into precise specifications with regard to the use of materials and battery design, according to which the battery cells are produced.
BMW High-voltage battery cells for BMW i3( 2019), BMW iX3 (2020), BMW i4 (2021).
Consistent research and development work not only raises energy density but also constantly improves all battery cell characteristics, in particular also durability and safety. In total, the BMW high-voltage battery shows the optimum of what is possible nowadays.
At the same time the BMW engineers were able to reduce the share of cobalt contained in the battery by another two thirds. Compared to former technology used by BMW Group, the gravimetric energy density on cell level in the BMW iX3 is around 20% higher.
With the BMW iX3 the raw materials cobalt and lithium for the first time are purchased by BMW directly and then handed over to the producer of the battery cells.
In addition, scalability and the compact design of the high-voltage battery unit have been further optimized. The battery cells are grouped into modules at specialized BMW production locations and finally assembled as high-voltage battery packs aligned to each model. The high-voltage battery unit in the BMW iX3 is installed in an extremely flat position in the vehicle floor. Due to this arrangement, there is no loss of space for passengers and the luggage compartment compared to the conventionally powered versions of the BMW X3.
Within its segment, the BMW iX3 boasts not only a low power consumption of less than 20 kWh/100km accordingly to the WLTP test cycle, but also stands for a novel ratio between battery size and range.
Due to the favorable efficiency rating of the drive components and the high energy density of the high-voltage battery unit, the BMW iX3 achieves a range that is only possible for common electric vehicles with larger and thus heavier batteries.
At the BMW Group every electrified model has to prove that for the entire cycle—comprising raw material procurement, supply chain, production and usage phase as well as recycling—its CO2 balance is substantially better than the one of a conventionally powered sibling. For the BMW iX3 the related advantage is more than 30% compared to a BMW X3 sDrive 20d when average European power supply is used during the car’s usage phase. If the vehicle is charged with green electricity the advantage is around 60%.
Furthermore, in analogy with the BMW i3 Plug&Play technology, the high-voltage battery featured in the BMW iX3 is planned for a second life as a stationary battery pack for the period following the first long life in the car. This way the already positive CO2 balance of the BMW iX3 can be further improved.