BMW continues to work diligently on its EV strategy, and its offensive in that domain is expected to go to another level in the coming months. The next round of electric models to come from the German automaker, the iX3, i4 and iNEXT, are currently undergoing cold-weather testing in Arjeborg, Sweden near the Arctic Circle.
Among other things the company is testing out how well the batteries hold up to extreme cold and, most importantly, what happens to their range in those conditions.
BMW is promising a range of up to 600 km for this next generation of EVs. This of course represents a serious milestone to hit; even if that range gets cut down by 25% in wintertime, that still leaves a 400-km range.
The first of these models undergoing testing to go to market should be the battery-operated version of the X3, known as the iX3, which BMW is hoping to launch in 2020. The other two, the i4 and iNEXT, are expected to be ready by 2021.
Because, well, first things first, the iX3 when it does appear will have a range of 400 km, according to the company.
This model represents what BMW calls the fifth generation of its eDrive technology, and it will be assembled in Shenyang, China; that will be a first for the German manufacturer. In China, by the way, BMW operates in a partnership with Chinese firm Brillance.
As for the i4, it should be the first to deliver that magical 600 km of range. No one-trick pony, it will also, BMW promises, have a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 4 seconds and a top speed of 200 km. Now, put that car on the German Autobahn, and it’s safe to say it won’t get anywhere near 600 km out of a single charge.
Then there’s the iNEXT, a larger SUV in format. It will also be able to advance up to 600 km on a full charge, plus it will incorporate Level 3 autonomous driving technology. This means that while human intervention is still necessary, it can operate independently on the highway and, in certain instances, in the city.
The latter two models will be built in Germany at the company’s plants in Munich and Dingolfing, respectively.