2020 marks the beginning of BMW’s electrified product offensive with 25 different electrified models to be launched by 2023 (12 expected as pure EVs) and a fully-electric X1 could be expected in 2023 when the model crosses to its third generation.
Reports of an electric X1 have been doing rounds since 2019 when Automobilemag.com reported about the BMW iX1 (the name is not finalised). The iX1 will be built on the UKL platform with a front-wheel-drive layout and codenamed U11. The UKL launched in 2013 with the third generation Mini 3-door and since then has led to cars such as the BMW X1, BMW X2, BMW 1 Series & 2 Series. The report suggested that the iX1 will be offered with two battery capacities – 38 kWh and 76 kWh with a range of 185 km and 305 km respectively. Given the fast development of battery technology and their falling prices, BMW will probably be offering a higher capacity battery in place of the 38 kWh for a better range three years from now.
BMW iX3, i4 & PHEV variants of the X1 & X2 ring in the ‘EV’ era at BMW
Mr Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Management Board of BMW, had earlier elaborated on BMW’s electric mobility plans stating that the company will be launching the all-electric BMW iX3 in 2020 along with the X1 plug-in hybrid and the electrified version of BMW 3 Series Touring. 2022 will see the launch of BMW iNEXT and BMW i4.
While the fully-electric iX1 is expected to be launched in early 2023, the X1 plug-in hybrid has just been launched in a select few global markets like the UK (in a single xDrive25e variant), and the X2 plug-in hybrid confirmed to follow within a few months.
The BMW iX3 will be manufactured in China and the brand will be focusing on the European market where the emission targets set by governments warrants mass-electrification. Powered by a 74 kWh battery, the iX3 will offer a range of 440 km in a single charge in the WLTP cycle. BMW is also betting big on the i4 electric Gran Coupe model that will be getting an 80 kWh battery with a range of up to 600 km (WLTP). The i4 is a performance-oriented electric car that will have a maximum speed of 200 km/h and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds.
BMW currently has over half a million electrified vehicles on road and intends to double the number the end of 2021.
Recall the Zinoro 1E from the BMW-Brilliance joint venture?
BMW, through its Chinese joint venture in 2015, introduced the Zinoro 1E based on the first generation BMW X1. Powered by a 125 kW electric motor that produced a peak torque of 250 Nm, the Zinoro 1E had three battery packs mounted under the hood, centre and the gasoline tank. The makeshift EV which came before the BMW i3 was good enough for a range of 150 kilometers. The vehicle was not sold in large numbers, just leased to Chinese customers who got a taste of premium electric mobility and the first ‘official’ BMW X1 electric variant.
Video courtesy Technologic Vehicles Youtube Channel.