BMW cancels plan to launch iX3 electric SUV in the US

BMW has canceled its plan to launch the BMW iX3, its first electric vehicle in years, in the US – following several other automakers focusing their EV supply in other markets.

When unveiling the BMW iX3 concept vehicle in 2018, the German automaker said that it’s going to be the first electric vehicle based on its fifth-generation electric powertrain technology, which is designed to enable longer electric range.

At the time, BMW confirmed that the all-electric iX3 SUV will be built in China and exported to other markets starting in 2020.

However, the company now takes the US market out of the plans.

A BMW spokesperson told Automotive News yesterday:

“At this time we do not have plans to bring the iX3 to the U.S. market,”

The change of plan follows other automakers getting cold feet in the US when it comes to electric vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz has delayed the launch of its own electric SUV, the EQC, to 2021 in the US after deciding to prioritize the European market, where they impose stricter regulations on fleet emissions.


A few months ago, the automaker released the production specs of the BMW iX3 and said that it is going to be equipped with a 74 kWh battery pack, which is going to enable 440 km of range:

With a net energy content of 74 kWh, the high-voltage battery unit installed in the BMW iX3 achieves a range of more than 440 km in the legislative WLTP test cycle. Within its segment, the BMW iX3 boasts not only a unique low power consumption of less than 20 kWh/100km accordingly to the WLTP test cycle, but also stands for a novel ratio between battery size and range.

As usual, it’s important to note that the WLTP range is often difficult to achieve in real-world conditions for most people.

But BMW claims that its 5th gen electric powertrain is really efficient:

The vehicle’s fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology comprises a drive unit in which electric motor, system electronics, and transmission are brought together into a central housing. As a result, the required installation space of the drive technology and its weight are considerably reduced. The ratio between motor output and weight of the drive system improves around 30% compared to the previous generation.

The automaker is using “the latest evolution in NMC-811 technology” cell chemistry in a prismatic format.

They claim that their chemistry contains less cobalt and has a higher gravimetric energy density:

At the same time the BMW engineers were able to reduce the share of cobalt contained in the battery by another two thirds. Compared to former technology used by BMW Group, the gravimetric energy density on cell level in the BMW iX3 is around 20% higher.

BMW also slightly bumped the power of the electric drivetrain from the previously disclosed 200 kW/270 hp to 210 kW/286 hp.

Electrek’s Take

This is a shame. They have no excuse not to make this a global vehicle program and try to achieve the highest volume possible.

You could even argue that it makes the BMW iX3 a compliance electric car if they are only going to launch it where they need to comply with emission regulations.

I find it hard to believe that they don’t see demand for it in the US.

Hopefully, Tesla’s Model Y launch goes smoothly and they prove that the US market is hungry for electric SUVs.

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