The incoming 2022 BMW iX not only arrives with the German automaker’s 5th generation eDrive technology, but it highlights BMW’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Strict measures for improving sustainability are at the heart of BMW’s iX electric flagship SUV. It covers all phases of production, from selecting the raw materials through manufacturing and recycling.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 has two electric motors both churning upwards of 370 kW of power, accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in under five seconds. Those two motors offer 30-percent better power density than previous BMW electric drive units. In the 5th gen eDrive system, the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission are integrated as a single unit to reduce weight while maximizing space. Developed in-house by BMW, the electric motors have a 93-percent efficiency factor, and BMW did it without using rare earth minerals for the motor’s magnetic components.
Meanwhile, the newest BMW iX electric SUV has a 100 kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery packing 20-percent more energy density. As we all know, lithium-ion batteries contain cobalt and lithium, critical-classified raw materials derived from ‘questionable’ sources, for lack of a better word. For BMW, sustainability covers every production phase, including sourcing the cobalt directly before delivering the mineral to battery cell suppliers. With this method, BMW ensures “that environmentally and sustainability standards are observed during the extraction and processing of cobalt and that there are no violations of human rights,” said the carmaker. On the other hand, BMW sources lithium directly from Australia.
This holistic approach to sustainability includes the utilization of ‘secondary aluminium’ castings (a recycled form of high-grade aluminium) for 50-percent of the BMW iX’s chassis and battery casing to reduce CO2 emissions during the manufacturing stage. Inside, the new BMW iX features premium recycled materials like sustainably grown wood, natural wool fibres, olive leaf-treated leather, and carpeting made of synthetic yarn derived from discarded fishing nets. What’s more, around 20-percent of thermoplastics in the BMW iX are made of recycled plastics like the door panels, bumper guides, and cowl panel cover, comprising up to 132 pounds of recycled plastic in total. Additionally, all recycled components are meticulously tested at the BMW Group’s materials laboratory to check for potential allergenic materials.
Speaking of the interior, the 2022 BMW iX features the next-generation iDrive 8 infotainment system, combining a 12.3-inch high-resolution instrument display with a 14.9-inch central touchscreen in a single, curved glass panel. Like the display set-up in Kia’s EV6, the BMW iX’s infotainment cockpit is angled oh-so-slightly to the driver’s line of sight. The centre console has that familiar iDrive rotary controller. It now gains a touchpad controller with active haptic buttons and rocker switches to control the audio volume, seat adjustment, and transmission mode.
BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant is at the heart of the next-gen iDrive 8. It now supports natural language interactions and gesture control to adjust vehicle settings like ambient lighting, HVAC settings, or switching between drive modes. And yes, iDrive 8 allows you to raise or lower the power windows using voice control.
BMW SA will confirm finer details around the new SUVs in 2022.