The BMW Group is on track with its electrification strategy to release the new BMW iX3 into global markets by the end of 2020. Standard production of the BMW core brand’s first pure electric model will get underway at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) in China in late summer; BBA Plant Dadong in Shenyang is tasked with producing the first Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with a pure electric drive train.
More than 340hr of testing, including over 7,700km of test drives, have been completed within four weeks to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals. BBA has been building BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles since the middle of last year and the 200th pre-production model recently rolled off the assembly line to begin test drives on Chinese roads — allowing development and test engineers to make final adjustments.
Robert Küssel, BBA plant director Dadong, said: “We are right on schedule with our BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles and will launch standard production in late summer, using ‘state of the art’ technologies such as custom installation of the new high-voltage battery and artificial intelligence for monitoring parts.
“We are also producing the fully-electric BMW iX3 and the BMW X3 with combustion engine on the same production line, which will enable us to achieve high efficiency and flexibility in production.”
The BMW X3 is the brand’s first model available with both conventional petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid system or a pure electric drive train. The BMW iX3 comes with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, including a drive unit with the electric engine, power electronics and transmission highly integrated into a central housing.
This significantly reduces the installation space and mass of the drive technology relative to output and offers added flexibility for installing new electric powertrain components in different vehicle derivatives. A further highlight is the electric motor, which no longer requires the use of rare earth elements and ensures the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability.
The fifth-generation electric drive train also includes new and more powerful high-voltage batteries. With their scalable, modular design, these can be used flexibly in the respective vehicle architecture and at the respective production locations.
With a range of around 440km in the WLTP test cycle (preliminary data), the BMW iX3 paves the way for BMW eDrive technology, which will also be used in BMW i4 and BMW iNEXT models from 2021 onwards.