Electrification isn't just a passing phase in the current automotive industry, it's here to stay. Just about every automaker is investing in the electric vehicle (EV) market. Aside from the Japanese, it's the Germans that are putting in a lot of resources to be one of the top EV producers.
The latest EV from Europe comes from BMW with the iX3. While it isn't the first EV crossover in the market, it is BMW's first attempt at a production electric CUV.
Powering the iX3 is a 210 kW electric motor that has a continuous output of 80 kW. That roughly translates to 286 PS with a continuous output of 109 PS. By design, electric motors provide a lot of torque and the one in the iX3 is no exception. It delivers 400 Nm of it, and it's ready to deliver all of that the moment the accelerator is applied.
Keeping those motors running is a 400-volt lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 232 Ah (Ampere hours). Plugged into a 150 kW charging station, the battery can be charged to 80 percent in 34 minutes, says BMW. Plug it in a standard socket and a full charge takes 7.5 hours. Fully charged, BMW claims that the iX3 can go as far as 520 kilometers before it needs to be plugged in again.
That's not to say the iX3 is a slow vehicle. BMW claims that the iX3 can perform the 0 to 100 km/h run in 6.8 seconds, which makes it quicker than the X3 20d xDrive and just a few tenths slower than the X3 30i xDrive. However, iX3 is not all-wheel-drive. For now, at least, this EV crossover is rear-wheel drive only. If you must know, top speed is electronically limited at 180 km/h.
BMW has also made sure that the iX3 stands out from its gas-fed X3 counterparts by giving the crossover unique styling details as well. The traditional kidney grille is still there, but it has a different pattern instead of slats. Its front bumper has been redesigned to optimize aerodynamics and help with range. Even its wheels are designed to be aerodynamic and it rides on low rolling resistance tires to eke out every possible kilometer from its electric motor.
While this is the first electric crossover from BMW, it's unlikely that the iX3 will be the last. As automakers continue to push for electrification, it could only be a matter of time before these vehicles gain an even bigger market. Should that trend continue, luxury EVs like the iX3 might just be offered in our showrooms eventually.