BMW is working on advanced tech for an electric X5 to arrive two years after the iX3.
BMW is developing a fully electric X5, according to a senior powertrain insider, and it could be launched by 2022.
A battery-electric version of the X5 won’t arrive as soon as other models in BMW’s line-up due to the car’s size and weight. However, work has progressed beyond the initial planning phase, Drive-My understands.
An electric X5, likely to be badged iX5, requires a highly efficient powertrain and substantially reduced parasitic losses to be viable either for BMW or for its potential customers in terms of manufacturing and running costs. Enabling the X5 to work as a full EV will involve a weight-saving programme, says our source, as well as significant improvements in aerodynamics and a reduction in rolling resistance. All of these factors bear heavily on the car’s performance and range. BMW is well advanced with the process of evolving and improving its electric drivelines, its battery packs and their ability to be fast-charged.
The iX3, recently shown in concept form and to be released in 2020, features BMW’s fifth-generation electric drive system. This packages the motor, transmission and power electronics into one compact unit, delivering 266bhp and a claimed range of more than 249 miles. This new system avoids the use of rare earth elements, reducing costs and, more significantly, any reliance on materials that risk becoming politically difficult to obtain.
The iX3’s system has also been developed to accept a powerful 150kW supply from a fast-charging station, reducing the recharge time to just 30 minutes. However, stations this potent are unlikely to be widespread given that the UK currently has no 100kW fast-chargers. The BMW iX3 uses fourth-generation battery cells supplied by Samsung.
The electric X5 will use a drive system developed to a still higher pitch as industry’s EV development momentum intensifies, one element being a higher-capacity battery than the iX3’s 70kWh pack.
BMW will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the current X5 within a year. The company sold 43,000 examples of the previous hybrid X5.
The full-electric X5 will be a vital version, given this SUV’s popularity within the BMW range, but it’s unlikely to appear before 2022. It’s one of 11 electric models under development at BMW. Next to join the BMW Group’s range will be the Mini EV, during 2019, followed by the iX3 revealed at the end of 2019 and a production version of the Vision Efficient Dynamics saloon concept in 2020.