Full steam ahead for BMW electrification

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Words: NZ Autocar
29 Jul 2020

BMW is adding another propulsion system to its smallest X1 SUV, with an all-electric variant dubbed iX1 to be added in the next-generation line-up. It should be on the market by 2023 as BMW is on a mission to lower its average CO2 emissions ASAP.

By 2030, BMW also aims for an 80 percent drop in emissions from its factories and other sites compared with 2019 figures. Expect 25 new electrified models from the BMW Group within two years, half of which will be fully electric.

The iX1 will utilise the existing UKL platform, heavily modified and likely similar to the architecture underpinning the new MINI Electric. Only it will use the next generation of EV technology from the German firm, with superior performance and battery range.

Alongside the iX1 will be diesel, a petrol-electric hybrid and a plug-in alternative as well. BMW calls this motive diversification the ‘Power of Choice’.

It’s the same situation for 5 Series, with multiple power types to be made available, the added benefit being to reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by at least one-third within the next decade. Sustainability and resource efficiency are said to be central to the company’s short- and medium-term direction.

So other upcoming EVs from BMW include 7 Series, iNext electric SUV (e-tron competitor), the iX3 small SUV and i4 electric saloon. An electric 3 Series is likely too.

The proposed plan is to build over seven million electrified vehicles this decade, and two-thirds of those will be BEVs.

The 5 Series and iX1 are likely to feature the single-motor powertrain of the recently revealed iX3 (pictured above). That creates 210kW which is sent to the rear wheels, and offers a WLTP range of over 450km.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said of the firm’s direction “We're taking sustainability to the next level.”

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