BMWs iX3 eDrive All-Electric Preps for Global Launch

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] A std. 74 kWh pack should provide at least 210-miles of all-electric range.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – December 18, 2019

    Front and center.​

    While BMWs i3 and i8 are heading into the sunset phase of their short lifespans, BMW like all the European automakers have not abandoned fully electric drivetrains but instead are embracing them wholeheartedly.

    The somewhat efficient drivetrain of the all-electric BMW iX3 uses what BMW calls their fifth generation of eDrive technology. This new technology focused on higher efficiency electric motors and scalable high-voltage batteries.

    BMW iX3 production will begin sometime in 2020 either in Germany or China. I am not sure where however as the iX3 is a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, China.

    The next paragraph is where it gets sticky. The projected range of the iX3 is just over 440 km on the WLTP test cycle from the 74 kWh pack. Given what occurred with the 420 km WLTP ranged 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S being rated at just 201-miles on our EPA, the iX3 could arrive with just 210-miles of all-electric range on our EPA. If there is one thing we have said over and over and over again regarding the BEV marketplace, YOU MUST lead your moving target, not shoot at it or behind it and in this case, BMW shot way behind just as MB, Audi, and Porsche have vs the omnipresent Tesla model lineup. The iX3 appears to be a Model Y sized compact CUV and if so, it is competing against a 2021 Model Y RWD Long Range with an estimated range of 300 miles from its own possible 75 kWh Li-Ion traction battery pack. 210-miles vs 300 miles? This race is over before it even started. :(

    iX3 details

    The first all-electric BMW CUV is the first for BMWs eDrive technology which starting in 2021, will also be deployed in the BMW i4 and the BMW iNEXT. Both the drive system and the high-voltage battery will feature pioneering battery cell technology that has been completely redeveloped. In the BMW iX3, the tech is supposed to ensure a typical BMW driving experience combined with outstanding efficiency.

    In 2020, the std. X3 will become the brand’s first model available both with conventional gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric drive. With these choices, the shotgun spread of offerings should satisfy most looking for an alternative or the tried and true drivetrain as the Roundel brand searches for the magic bullet to reduce CO2 while still offering a desirable allotment of vehicles.

    All powertrain components used within the BMW eDrive drivetrain were developed solely by BMW. The electric motor and the high-voltage batteries are produced in corporately owned manufacturing facilities.

    BMW did not mention where but I suspect it is within China’s orders. The motor drive unit and the high-voltage battery are scalable in terms of power and energy and can be used in various vehicle platforms and differing segments as necessary.

    The vehicle’s fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology comprises an electric drive motor, system electronics and transmission within a central housing. As a result, the required installation volume of the drive and its weight are reduced considerably. The ratio between motor output and weight of the drive system improves around 30 percent compared to the previous generation.


    The electric motor featured in the BMW iX3 delivers a maximum power output of 286 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Remember that Model Y Long Range thingie based off the Model 3s 449 hp and 471 lb-ft of torque electric motor(s) in AWD trim we wrote about previously? Yeah, that.

    If there were a bright edge around the storm cloud, it is the fact that the BMW iX3’s electric motor does not use any rare earth materials.

    The high-voltage battery 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 typical prismatic design. R&D has not only raised energy density but has shown improvements in durability and safety as well.

    At the same time the BMW engineers were able to reduce the share of cobalt contained in the battery by approximately 2/3rds. The energy density of the new pack is said to be 20 percent higher than the predecessor. I assume that is what is in the i3?

    The BMW iX3s high-voltage battery is installed in a flat position in the vehicle floor eliminating any loss of passenger and cargo volume vs either of the conventionally powered versions of the X3.

    The BMW iX3 provides a power consumption spec of less than 20 kWh/100km on the WLTP test cycle, but also stands for a novel ratio between battery size and range. While we do not have an exact spec on the Model Y yet, the Model 3 from which it is based provides owners with a WLTP efficiency of 13.9 kWh/100 km.

    BMW is touting the iX3 range without resorting to larger and heavier batteries. With all of the details above, I bet that some in the engineering teams wish they would have had another few years of development to compete with what is heading to market from the Tesla brand.

    With std. German grid charging, the BMW iX3 emits just 70 percent of the CO2 of the next best low CO2 BMW X3 model with the sDrive 20d turbo diesel. If the vehicle is charged with green electricity the advantage moves to just 40 percent.

    If only BMW had the technology to lead the target instead of follow it, they may have actually hit the mark. :(
    BillLin likes this.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    There are rumors of BMW striving to hit 330-miles in a 3-series BEV by 2021. I hope that is the case but 330-miles on our own EPA is not as easy as one would think as the latest European Luxury automakers are missing competitors targets by over 50 percent.

    BillLin likes this.
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    CarsDirect reported that the 2020 X3 xDrive30e PHEV will start just under $50K with a 12 kWh battery and about 20 mile of range (EPA but probably more like 22-24 mile).
    PHEV premium is similar to the tax credit amount so same cost as regular model. But I wonder why latest SUV PHEV's have such a huge efficiency loss and probably their EV's as well. For example my Sonata PHEV has only 10 kWh battery with a 27 mile range. Maybe part of explanation is larger use of the battery capacity but that can't account for all of it (and AWD of course). At least RAV4 Prime shows it's possible to get a relatively efficient SUV PHEV.

    UPDATE: here are the numbers for the X3 xDrive30e: 17.2-16.4 kWh / 100 km (WLTP) and 32-34 mi range (NEFZ). 5-10% more efficient than the Q5 TFSI e it seems.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Luke:

    Our past drives of the BMW 3-Series Plug-ins have proven they are disastrously inefficient when off the plug. That was just three years ago. I hope they have improved but the latest BEV offerings out of Germany are falling far short of their competitors. Production of VW's ID. CROZZ SUV is supposed to have started in Chattanooga this month but with little to no information other than the Porsche and Audi debut debacles, I have doubts if it will be launched on schedule. VWs PR Team has told me we will not be receiving the Golf sized I.D. 3 - Europe only - and that model with the largest 77 kWh onboard pack had the possibility of reaching 275-miles on the EPA. That long range estimate is based on their 550 km on the WLTP which is approximately cut in half to match our EPA in miles of range.

    Until the German's can provide vehicles that match the range, efficiency, and or performance of Tesla's, Hyundai/Kia's, and GMs of the world, they could be in a lot of trouble as the electrification of consumer transport is approaching at the speed of light.

    Toyota's first mass market BEV for China, the 2021 Lexus UX 300e, is also a mess with a 54 kWh pack and maybe 175-miles of AER. Tesla's QC may be total crap but their is no denying their performance and range wipe the floor with everything else.

    Except for possibly the all-new and possibly 300+ mile range 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E that is. ;)

    2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E


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  5. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne, not looking great:-(. On one hand it's great to see suddenly this many PHEV's, but otherwise not completely competitive.

    Here's some German DB data. Unfortunately they don't break down the ICE mpg and they only have the mpgE number. But X3 is about 10% less efficient it seems than the 3 series and no one comes close to the Prius EV efficiency (RAV4 Prime is not posted yet so that will be interesting to watch):

    ________________Size_kWh _ kWh/100km _ l/100km
    330e___________10.8 ______ 14.7________ 1.8
    Prius_Prime______8.8 ______ 9.9_________ 1.3
    Tesla_3_________ 53.0 _____ 14.3
    X3_xDrive_e_____10.8 _____ 16.4 _________ 2.1
    Q5_TFSI_e______ 14.1 _____ 18.1_________ 2.0
    Ford_Kuga______ 14.4 _____ 15.8_________ 1.4
    E-tron__________86.5 _____ 23.7
    Tesla_X_________75.0 _____ 20.8
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  6. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I've heard future plans for the iX3 would be to offer 3 battery sizes: 60, 90 and 120 kWh. The latter would have estimated 700 km range on WLTP (so maybe 350 mi on EPA). Not sure how credible that info is and what timeframe. October 2020 is ETA for 1st model in Europe.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Luke:

    The only way I can see BMW competing in the U.S. market is to offer at least 250-miles of all-electric range and they had better have that 120 kWh pack available. The 2020 Tesla Model3 Standard Plus offers 250/322-miles of AER for $40/$48k. The stripped base 2020 BMW 3-series (ICE equipped) starts at $42k. What are they going to charge for a 90 kWh model, $55k?

    A 90 kWh pack may get BMW to 250-miles but I am not seeing good things out of Europe with regards to all-electric efficiency so far. The 120 kWh pack would put them in contention. Problem being they are so far behind the Tesla performance and range curve right now. 120 kWh packs are big and a 3-Series volumes would probably be compromised to get that much pack into the bottom of the chassis.

    I would not want to be a European Luxury Automaker right now. Tesla's QC is still trash but boy they pack a hell of a drivetrain into their offerings that nobody has been able to match to date.

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  8. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    From what I understood is that 2020 is the year where car makers will pay penalties in Europe if they don't meet new fleet average goals. And therefore you see suddenly so many German PHEV's since that seems quickest way to get the average down. So efficiency is probably not yet on their mind.

    To me the upcoming German PHEV's might still be interesting mostly because there isn't much competition yet in the luxury PHEV segment. It should still beat in theory Lexus/Acura comparable models fuel efficiency, but I still hope Acura or Lexus would offer an efficient PHEV or hybrid at one time. Maybe the NX redesign next year. Nothing yet mentioned for the upcoming MDX redesign.

    The Q5 looks very inefficient but the X3 seems it could be fairly close to an Escape PHEV. Although not sure to trust WLTP (note they deduct charging loss from battery capacity to make it more confusing). I wonder how many of these BMW PHEV's will be offered in US. That's a huge amount of PHEV models (efficiency numbers by car maker which may not be the same test):

    • BMW 225xe (13.5 kWh/100km)
    • BMW 330e (15.1 kWh / 100km)
    • *BMW 530e (14.2 kWh / 100km)
    • *BMW 745e (15.3 kWh / 100km)
    • BMW X1 XDrive25e (TBD)
    • *BMW X3 xDrive30e (16.8 kWh / 100km)
    • BMW X5 xDrive45e (22.5 kWh / 100km)
    • Audi A3 e-tron (12.5 kWh / 100km)
    • Audi A6 TFSI e (15.3 kWh / 100km)
    • *Audi A7 TFSI e (17.4 kWh / 100km)
    • *Audi Q5 TFSI e (18.3 kWh / 100km)
    • Audi Q7 TFSI e (22.4 kWh / 100km)
    • *Prius Prime (10.0 kWh / 100km)
    * To be available in the US.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    "(note they deduct charging loss from battery capacity to make it more confusing)"
    :confused: That hides how much electricity is needed to charge the car up.
    Does WLTP engine efficiencynumbers for PHEV incorporate EV miles like NEDC did?
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  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Trollbait:

    That is a large number of European Luxury automakers introducing PHEVs! Like any however, I remember my drive of that BMW 3-Series PHEV a few years back. Pickups were more efficient off the plug than that little FSP! :(

    I am also not a fan of the MPGe rating here. Anyone that has worked in the electrical utility industry knows that Thermo efficiency is in the 30 to 40 percent range for most plants and that is not accounted for in the MPGe ratings.

    BillLin likes this.
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Plug in drivers aren't directly putting natural gas, coal, uranium, wind, sunlight, etc. into their cars for power, and the ease of getting gasoline varies with the petroleum source and refinery. The car user has little control over those aspects, and the car's efficiency has no bearing on the efficiency of the fuel's production. That efficiency, and emissions, should be factored into the fuel's price.

    EPA testing of cars is for their emissions and efficiency. The window sticker is so consumers can make like to like comparisons between models, and they pay for the fuel from the pump or wall. Tracing that fuel's journey before that point goes beyond the testing and sticker's scope of purpose.
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  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Trollbait:

    Most of us know all of that. When it comes to MPGe, the EPA uses a conversion of 33.7 kWh or 121 MJ of electricity being equivalent to one gallon of gasoline US. Now what consumer knows a thing about that? Remember the sky high 136 MPGe rated 2018 Hyundai Ioniq BEV with just 124 miles of AER vs the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt with a 119 MPGe rating and 238 miles of AER or Tesla Model 3 with a 130 MPGe rating and 310 miles of AER? The only thing relevant to the consumer is the range rating of 124 vs 238 vs 310-miles, not the 136 vs 119 vs 130 MPGe rating.

    It was not that many years ago the EPA did not even place the range on the BEVs but only displayed MPGe estimates and you had to look up the range in the data files!

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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    New things means having to learn new stuff; tank range wasn't considered needed before, so EV range got over looked. I remember the first year Volt sticker had a MPGe rating based on some arbitrary distance using electric and gas. Completely useless for a consumer, and the EPA dropped it the next year. Europe apparently still hasn't learned that lesson.
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  14. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Just noticed that the numbers above are actually not WLTP. BMW rather says WLTP tested and converted to NEDC equivalent since law still requires until end of 2020 to publish NEDC. After that only WLTP will be published. Pretty chaotic right now it seems. Best to wait for EPA numbers...

    For WLTP mpg, I noticed they only publish combined EV and hybrid mode which is not helpful in my opinion since distance varies too much. EPA is better there as well as it shows EV and mpg separate I believe.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  15. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    EPA just released numbers for the Q5 AWD PHEV:

    - 52 kWh/100mi
    - 20 mi range
    - 27 mpg combined

    With PHEV tax credit it's about 2-3K more excluding CA credits.

    Using relative comparison than in theory the BMW X3 PHEV would get around 47 kWh/100mi. Battery is about 20% smaller so range wouldn't be really much different. All not great numbers but not a lot to compare directly against in the same luxury SUV segment. The XC60 AWD PHEV is less efficient but better total range since Q5 only has 14 gallon tank. If you compare the EPA numbers to the NEDC converted WLTP numbers above, that's amazingly 70%+ higher.
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  16. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The EPA numbers are bit different than I expected:

    X3 xDrive: 60 MPGe, 24 mpg combined, 18 mi AER, 340 mi total (56kwh/100mi)
    Q5 TFSI-E: 65 MPGe, 27 mpg combined, 20 mi AER, 390 mi total (52kwh/100mi)

    Not great numbers but similar to other SUV PHEVs. But looking at RAV4 prime with est. 42 mi AER and 94 MPGe then this is pretty poor efficiency.
    BillLin likes this.
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Efficiency was not their primary goal.
    BillLin likes this.

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