Starting from a cool R1.65-million, it is now possible to own BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) third fully electric vehicle available in the country – the new iX sports activity vehicle (SAV), adding to the i3 and electric Mini Cooper SE already on the market.
The price includes a complimentary Wallbox charger and installation, free charging at any BMW-branded charging stations, free insurance for the first year, and a year’s subscription to the charge point operator’s network portal.
The BMW iX variants available from launch are equipped with an electric motor at both the front and rear axle, creating an electric all-wheel-drive system. The motors generate a combined output of 385 kW in the BMW iX xDrive50, enabling it to sprint to 100 km/h from rest in 4.6 s.
The drive system in the BMW iX xDrive40 places maximum output of 240 kW on tap, and propels the car from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 s
The ranges of the vehicles before the batteries must be recharged are up to 630 km for the BMW iX xDrive50, and up to 425 km for the BMW iX xDrive40.
The gravimetric energy density of the lithium-ion batteries used in the zero-emission vehicle has been increased by around 20% over the previous-generation battery.
The German car maker notes that the xDrive40’s global warming potential is around 45% lower than that of a SAV with a comparable diesel engine over more than 200 000 km of use.
The new technology toolkit making its debut in the iX also provides the platform for “significant progress in the areas of automated driving and digital services”, adds BMW.
For example, the level of computing power in the vehicle has been developed to process 20 times the data volume of previous models.
The iX is the first model to make use of BMW’s newest iDrive upgrade. What began 20 years ago with the introduction of a rotary dial and a digital display is now an intelligent, multi-sensory experience tailored to the driver’s needs.
The most distinctive manifestation of the iDrive system is the curved display, which groups together the information and control displays.
BMW says it has procured the cobalt and lithium required for the high-voltage batteries from controlled sources in Australia and Morocco, before supplying them to battery-cell manufacturers.
As in the production of the overall vehicle at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, the battery cells are manufactured using exclusively green power from certified sources.
Also, since February, 2021, the company has bought aluminium manufactured using electricity from solar energy plants.
The car’s interior also features certified wood, leather tanned with olive leaf extracts and other natural materials. Among the raw materials used for the floor coverings and mats are recovered fishing nets.
Added to this, the electric motors for the BMW iX also avoid the use of rare earths. They work according to the principle of a current-excited synchronous motor.
The excitation of the rotor in the BMW iX motors is not induced by fixed permanent magnets, but the feed-in of electric energy. This removes the need for the critical materials used to manufacture magnets.