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BMW Reveals the New All-Electric iX3 in Beijing

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【Summary】Tesla is getting more competition from traditional automakers in the luxury electric vehicle space. BMW unveiled its iX3 electric SUV concept on Wednesday at the Beijing Auto Show, its first all-electric vehicle.

Eric Walz    Apr 25, 2018 1:40 PM PT
BMW Reveals the New All-Electric iX3 in Beijing

Tesla is getting more competition from traditional automakers in the luxury electric vehicle space. BMW unveiled its iX3 electric SUV concept on Wednesday at the Beijing Auto Show, its first all-electric vehicle. The iX3 is the first vehicle in BMW's planned electric future. The automaker plans to start producing the vehicle—which is based on its X3 SUV— in Shenyang, China, in 2020 as part of a joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd.

BMW said the battery-powered iX3 will have a range of over 249 miles per charge with an electric motor that can produce over 270 horsepower. It will feature a battery with over 70 kWh of capacity BMW says will be able to charge in 30 minutes using a 150 kW charger.

The iX3's redesigned powertrain, which marks the fifth generation of the brand's eDrive technology, has a modular design that can be used for other vehicles in BMW's lineup.

The iX3's range is less than the maximum attained by a Tesla Model X (295 miles), but exceeds the 237-mile range of the Model X's base trim and also that of the Model 3 base model, which offers a range of 220 miles. Regardless of the range, the iX3 will likely compete directly with Tesla's Model X SUV.

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The BMW iX3

BMW eDrive Technology

Among the innovations showcased in the BMW Concept iX3 is the fifth generation of BMW's modular eDrive technology, which groups together of the electric motor, transmission and power electronics within a new, separate electric drive component.  In addition, the fifth-generation electric drive system also includes new and more powerful batteries.

The future BMW will introduce variants of the eDrive architecture, accommodating all types of front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. This will pave the way for models from all the company's brands to be equipped with different drive system variants, allowing a internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric solution to be integrated into any BMW model, as desired.

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The iX3 interior

BMW is getting ready to expand its electric offerings beyond the boxy i3 car, which was introduced in 2013 and is currently the brand's only fully-electric vehicle available for purchase. The German automaker said it plans to release at least 12 fully-electric cars by 2025, including the Mini E, iNext, and i Vision Dynamics.

The iX3 will be significant for BMW, as consumers continue to shift away from sedans in favor of SUVs. The increasing popularity of SUVs means electric models could accelerate adoption rates of electric vehicles, which make up just 1% of the global market.

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