The BMW Group is pushing forward with its strategy to develop and release electrified vehicles by the end of 2020. Production for the brand’s first pure electric SUV – the BMW iX3 – is underway in China.
The testing required for homologation, the process of certifying a product to meet regulatory standards, has now successfully completed; results have been submitted to the regulatory authorities in key markets. Here, more than 340 hours of testing, including over 7700 km of test drives, had to be completed within four weeks.
Arno Keller, head of Development BMW iX3 said: “This is the first time we have completed the entire homologation process for a fully electric model in China and Europe at the same time. The staff on our testing team mastered this unique challenge with tremendous dedication and efficiency.”
BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) has been building pre-production units at Plant Dadong in Shenyang, China since Q2 2019. The 200th pre-production model recently came off the assembly line, where test drives on Chinese roads began.
“We are right on schedule with our BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles and will launch standard production in late summer, using state-of-the-art technologies such as custom installation of the new high-voltage battery and artificial intelligence for monitoring parts,” explained Robert Küssel, BBA Plant Director Dadong. “We are also producing the fully-electric BMW iX3 and the BMW X3 with combustion engine on the same production line. This enables us to achieve high efficiency and flexibility in production,” Küssel continued.
With the addition of the new BMW iX3, the BMW Group is adding another fully-electric vehicle to its portfolio. This will help the brand fulfil the ever-growing demand for all-electric vehicles.
The electric car is based on the BMW X3, which was the brand’s first model available in both conventional petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid system or as a pure electric. This “Power of Choice” approach allows the company to respond to the different needs and wants of its customers worldwide and maximise its impact in reducing global CO2 emissions.
The iX3 comes with the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. The powertrain doesn’t require to have batteries that are composed of rare materials – as such, BMW doesn’t need to depend on their availability. Elsewhere, the iX3 will have a driving range of around 273 miles (440 km) in the WLTP test cycle.