The first fully-electric BMW iX3 has left the production line at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) in Shenyang, China. The workforce at the BBA Plant Dadong in Shenyang already celebrated the successful start of production on 29 September 2020.
Franz Decker, head of BBA’s Technology and Production division, said during the event: “Today, we begin production of the BMW iX3, the first pure electric model from our core BMW brand. With a production system like this, specialised for high quality, we are able to deliver what customers worldwide demand from premium vehicles.”
As well as intelligent manufacturing and state-of-the-art technologies, the BBA production facility in Shenyang is also distinguished by its comprehensive quality management system. A special “zero defect concept” ensures that the globally high market requirements for electric mobility are met.
BBA conducts rigorous testing of everything from the battery to the finished car to guarantee the vehicle safety of the BMW iX3. 128 mechanical tests and 994 software functionality tests ensure the high quality of high-voltage batteries throughout the entire lifecycle. 140 functional tests check every aspect of the vehicle during acceleration, in particular road conditions and on rocky roads. As a result, the BMW iX3 is well-suited for all types of roads and meets the high demands of different driving conditions.
BBA produces the fully-electric BMW iX3 on the same line as the BMW X3 with combustion engine to ensure a high level of efficiency and flexibility in production.
During the entire BMW iX3 project, the BMW Group’s research and production, purchasing and production divisions worked closely with BBA.
The highly integrated drive system technology of the new BMW iX3 plays a particularly important role in optimising efficiency and power development. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now arranged together in a single housing. The electric motor in the new BMW iX3 works according to the principle of a current-excited synchronous motor, without the usage of magnets. This design allows rare earths to be entirely avoided in the manufacturing of the motor.
The premiere of the new BMW iX3 fires the starting gun for the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology. The latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery have enabled clear progress in the areas of performance characteristics, electric power consumption and range. The components developed by the BMW Group will also be fitted in the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 models from 2021.
The power density of the electric motor in the BMW iX3 is 30 per cent greater than that of existing fully electric vehicles from the BMW Group. The motor displays efficiency of up to 93 per cent,in comparison to under 40 per cent for combustion engines. The new drive system unit generates maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) which, unlike with many other electric motors, is sustained at high revs. The new BMW iX3 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds, putting it on equal footing with the conventionally powered BMW X3 xDrive30i. Top speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h (112 mph). Sending power to the rear wheels creates a classic BMW driving experience combined with supreme traction – thanks to ARB – and outstanding efficiency.
Cutting-edge battery cell technology plays a central role in the latest development stage of high-voltage batteries. The storage capacity of the battery, relative to the installation space required and its weight, has been substantially increased. The gravimetric energy density of the 188 prismatic cells in the new BMW iX3 is around 20 per cent higher than the one of the battery cells used by the BMW Group for fully electric vehicles up to now. A gross energy content of 80 kWh – of which 74 kWh is utilised – and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the new BMW iX3 to offer a range of up to 459 kilometres (285 miles) in the WLTP test cycle and up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle.
The new technical features making their debuts under the banner of the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology include an innovative charging unit, sending power to both the 400V battery and the 12V on-board power supply. When using alternating current terminals, it enables both single-phase and three-phase charging at up to 11 kW. Plugging the vehicle into a direct current fast-charging station facilitates charging outputs of up to 150 kW. The high-voltage battery in the new BMW iX3 can therefore be charged from 0 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 34 minutes. Drivers can inject the power required to add 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the car’s driving range (in the WLTP cycle) in 10 minutes of charging.