The BMW iX3 is one of three new full-electric vehicles released in Australia by BMW in 2021. Like all electric BMWs the model name begins with a lowercase ‘i’ to differentiate it from fossil fuelled BMWs.
Classed in Australia as a medium size SUV the iX3 is built in China on the same platform as the ICE (internal combustion engine) X3. As such, it’s interior and exterior appearance is little different to its ICE sibling.
The direct competitors to the iX3 in Australia include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, the upcoming Genesis GV60 and the Tesla Model Y.
The iX3 offers up to 11kW AC charging and a 150kW maximum DC fast-charge rate. At this DC rate it can recharge 100km of range in just under 10 minutes.
BMW iX3 Variants
|Variant||Battery (kWh)||WLTP Range (km)||Real World Range (km)||Power Output (kW)||Torque (Nm)||Plug Types (AC/DC)||Max Charge Rate (AC/DC)||Price|
|iX3||80||460||410||210||400||Type 2/ CCS2||11/150||$114,900|
Australian test standards are currently in a state of flux with the Green Vehicle Guide2 (GVG) showing some vehicle driving ranges using either the old (and highly over optimistic) European NEDC test cycle figure or the newer European WLTP test cycle figure. Worse still, for recent additions to the Australian market the GVG often gives no data at all! Around town the WLTP figure is the best guide for range. If you’re doing outer suburban or regional driving use the US EPA figure.
Using the WLTP range an iX3 should be capable of a return trip from the Melbourne GPO to Echuca on the Victorian border, provided the heating or air conditioning aren’t heavily used. For this sort of trip it’s recommended to do a top-up DC fast-charge at one of the DC charger sites along the Calder Highway, or take a slight detour to an AC charger and a more relaxed one to two hour break in Bendigo. (For further charging options see PlugShare).
The iX3 is fitted with a CCS2 socket allowing it to charge via Type 2 AC chargers2 as well as CCS2 DC fast-chargers.
The iX3 can be charged at any AC EVSE however, an adaptor is needed to use the (few) remaining older EVSEs fitted with Type 1 (J1772) plugs.
Charging speeds vary on the capacity of the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) it is connected to and the chosen battery size. Charging times are shown in table 1 below.
DC fast charging
Pre-2018 models of the i3 used the Type 1 connector. DC charging (using the CCS1 socket) was an optional extra before 2018.
The i3 now comes standard with the CCS2 socket. (The CCS2 socket is a combination Type 2 AC socket with CCS DC pins).
BMW iX3 Time to Charge (hrs)
|Battery size (kWh)||15A 1 phase (3.6kW)||32A 1 phase (7.2kW)||16A 3 phase (11kW)||DC Fast Charge (50kW)||DC Fast Charge (350kW)|
HOME CHARGING CONSIDERATIONS
To get the shortest home charging time for a BMW iX3 an 11kW three phase AC EVSE is needed.
However, depending on your existing power supply and/or charging needs, only a lower rated EVSE may be practicable, or needed. Lower capacity EVSEs will increase charging times.
The iX3 also comes with a Mode 2 portable EVSE for plugging into a 10A power point. Charging with this will take around 44hrs for a 0 – 100% charge. This extended time is due to BMW supplying a maximum 1.8kW portable charger.
Important notes for any home EVSE installation:
1. High charging rates are generally not needed for overnight charging.
2. Homes do not normally have three phase AC connected.
3. Switchboard and/or electrical supply upgrades may be needed if your home is more than 20 years old.
BMW iX3 Specifications
|Cargo space (litres)||Cargo Space with rear seats folded (litres)||Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Width with mirrors (mm)||Height (mm)||Tow Rating (braked / unbraked)|