500 hp, 486 km range for electric crossover
Sources recycled plastics, more ethical rare earths, solar power foundry
Along with our first look at the new BMW i4, the brand is showing off more about the iX electric crossover, including a look at the model’s new 500 hp driveline, expected pricing, and insight into how they’ve worked to make the vehicle’s lifecycle more sustainable.
We’ll start with that driveline, which will come as the BMW iX xDrive50 to start with a pair of electric motors delivering a combined 500 hp and a 486 km range estimate thanks to a battery with a capacity of more than 100 kWh. The battery itself has 20 percent more energy density than BMW’s previous-generation, and the automaker says it offers better performance, charging, and discharging capability. BMW has worked to reduce the amount of cobalt used in the cathode to less than 10 percent of previous levels. BMW sources that rare earth itself for distribution to battery cell suppliers, ensuring that it’s mined without human rights violations and meeting environmental standards. The automaker sources lithium in a similar fashion, with the iX’s coming from Australia.
The electric motors use no rare earth metals, reducing the impact of the vehicle, and is instead a current-excited rotor. BMW is going to great lengths to reduce CO2 emissions from the manufacturing of the iX, including sourcing aluminum that is refined using solar electricity from the UAE. BMW hopes to trim 2.5 million tons of carbon by 2030 by sourcing aluminum this way, and the Dingolfing plant where the car is built uses hydroelectric power.
Charing the battery in the iX can be done at up to 200 kW, meaning a 10-minute charge can add 121 km of range. 10 to 80 percent charging can happen in as little as 40 minutes, or it can charge at 11 kW for an 11-hour full charge at home on Level 2.
Other changes to the iX to help lower its impact on the planet includes using a new Twist cloth made from natural wool, while the carpeting and floor mats are made from recycled nylon waste that includes recovered fishing nets. BMW says the process to make the material emits 80 percent less CO2. Other recycled materials are used for the bumpers, door panels, cowl cover, and parts you don’t see like the cable ducting. BMW says each iX will have 132 lbs of recycled plastic.
The ix, BMW says, will arrive in the US and Canada in 2022, with a US MSRP “starting in the mid $80’s.”