This year is going to be big for BMW fans that are also looking for an eco-friendly approach. That’s because the BMW iX3 is supposed to arrive on the automotive scene by the end of 2020. Some have feared that due to the Coronavirus outbreak some cars would get canceled or, at least, postponed. It looks like none of those scenarios will be applying to the upcoming electric SUV from Bavaria, as BMW confirmed today things are on track.
Considering how long customers had to wait for this SUV to show up, it seems like the right thing to do for BMW to keep going with the project. According to the company, production of the car will kick off at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in China in late summer. This means the Dadong Plant will be the first to produce a Sports Activity Vehicle with a purely electric drivetrain for BMW, a car that will then be sold globally.
As for the steps taken to make sure everything is up to par, BMW said the testing and homologation parts of the process have been done already, and submitted for approval in key automotive markets. “This is the first time we have completed the entire homologation process for a fully electric model in China and Europe at the same time. The staff on our testing team mastered this unique challenge with tremendous dedication and efficiency,” said Arno Keller, head of Development BMW iX3.
“We are right on schedule with our BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles and will launch standard production in late summer, using state-of-the-art technologies such as custom installation of the new high-voltage battery and artificial intelligence for monitoring parts,” explained Robert Küssel, BBA Plant Director Dadong. “We are also producing the fully-electric BMW iX3 and the BMW X3 with combustion engine on the same production line. This enables us to achieve high efficiency and flexibility in production,” Küssel continued.
More than 340 hours of testing, including over 7700 kilometers of test drives, had to be completed within four weeks. The plant in Shenyang has actually been making the BMW iX3 for about a year now, when the first pre-production models rolled off the assembly line. As a matter of fact, they made about 200 of them so far and learned a lot in the process.