Beijing: BMW Concept iX3

Say hello to the iX3, BMW's 'first' electric car

BMW says that the iX3's electric drive system is the fifth iteration of its battery technology, and it combines new batteries with an electric motor, transmission, and all the necessary control electronics bundled into one section of the vehicle.

The Concept iX3 heralds the first mainstream model from the BMW brand to be driven purely by electric power, the automaker said. By condensing things like the electric motor and transmission into one component it allows for greater flexibility inside various chassis. Another notable element is that the electric motor does not need any rare earths, which means the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability.

BMW uses what they call the fifth-generation of their eDrive technology.

According to the company, the future series-production version of the iX3 will have powertrain of the their future concept, the BMW iNext.

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Confused? Well, forget all the nomenclature, it's an electric version of BMW's big-selling and critically-lauded X3 and that should be good enough for now. It comes with model-specific high-voltage battery has a net capacity of over 70 kWh.

Its batteries can also be charged at 150 kW fast-charging stations, and is expected to take just 30 minutes to charge at one of these stations - although there are a still limited number of them, as just 200 of these stations are expected to be implemented across Europe by the end of 2018. The energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit and is created to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW. For now, BMW has yet to show its interior. The closed double kidney with the blue accentuation continues the BMW i Vision Dynamics brand already featured in the BMW i Vision Dynamics.

On the exterior, key features include a closed-off kidney grille with BMW i auto graphic, blue accents around the kidney, the brand logo on the hood, along the side skirts, as well as the rear apron. There's also lots of blue highlighting to reinforce the car's electric credentials, while it also gets "aerodynamically optimised" alloy wheels. BMW is still not mentioning when their first all-electric crossover will reach the public.

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