BMW unveiled the iX3 electric SUV (earlier post), offering full electric mobility in a BMW X model. Electric power consumption combined in the WLTP test cycle is 19.5 – 18.5 kWh/100 km. The operating range is up to 460 kilometers (285 miles) in the statutory new WLTP test cycle (up to 520 kilometers [323 miles] in the NEDC test cycle).
The new BMW iX3 will be the brand’s first model to also be produced for export at the Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. Market launch will begin in China later in 2020.
The BMW X3 is the first model to be available with a gasoline or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system.
The new iX3 features fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Major progress has been made in terms of power density, operating range, weight, installation space requirement and flexibility.
The power density of the electric drive system increased by 30% over the BMW Group’s existing fully electric vehicles; gravimetric energy density of the high-voltage battery at cell level is up by 20%. The high-voltage battery features the latest NMC-811 technology with the prismatic design from other BMW applications.
The high-voltage battery in the new BMW iX3 is composed of 188 individually controllable, prismatic battery cells—each cased in aluminum—which are grouped into 10 modules. The battery is positioned low down in the vehicle floor as an integral component of the body. The new-generation battery weighs 518 kilograms and has a gross energy content of 80 kWh, of which 74 kWh is utilized, giving it a favorable mass to storage capacity ratio for this class.
A sophisticated cooling and heating system ensures the high-voltage battery is kept at an optimum temperature at all times. Tailored particularly to fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, its design principle also represents a significant step forward compared to the systems used up to now in the BMW Group’s electrified vehicles.
The liquid cooling/heating system serves the storage unit, power electronics and electric motor. A cooling module with two levels and a powerful control unit ensures ideal temperature control for the BMW eDrive components in all operating conditions and virtually any weather. A separate, electrically operated auxiliary heater ensures that the high-voltage battery achieves a consistently high level of effectiveness when starting the car, even in extremely low outside temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
The interior and battery are heated using a heat pump system. The pump is distinguished by extremely high efficiency; it uses between 40-80% less energy than conventional electric heating (depending on the outside temperature), while providing an equally comfortable on-board climate. It extracts excess heat from the motor, drive system control unit and high-voltage battery, as well as the outside air, and feeds it through the air conditioning system. The integrated management system for the climate and heating system also ensures need-based heating of the interior and optimal cooling of the high- voltage battery.
The latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery (all developed in-house) will also be deployed in the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 from 2021.
Efficiency is boosted significantly compared with the BMW i3 with highly integrated drive system technology. The electric motor, power electronics and transmission are arranged in a central housing for the first time.
BMW iX3 integrated E-drive unit (right) vs. BMW i3 E-Machine & Transmission (left and center).
The newly designed fifth-generation BMW eDrive electric motor produces maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and peak torque of 400 N·m (295 lb-ft). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h [62 mph] is 6.8 seconds (for purposes of comparison – BMW X3 30i: 6.4 seconds), with a top speed (electronically limited) of 180 km/h [112 mph]. The design principle of a current-excited synchronous motor enables optimized power development and allows engineers to avoid the use of rare earths.
Scope for varying degrees of recuperation enables choice between pronounced one-pedal feeling with extensive recuperation of braking and coasting energy in driving position B and adaptive recuperation including coasting function in driving position D. Recuperation level can be adjusted through three stages. Adaptive recuperation enhances driving comfort and efficiency by adjusting Brake Energy Regeneration and the coasting function to the driving situation at hand.
Power transfer to the rear wheels delivers a classical BMW driving experience.