BMW iX Electric SUV Aims For 1000 km Range Through New Battery Tech

Last Updated: December 06, 2023, 19:10 IST

BMW iX Electric SUV Aims For 1000 km Range Through New Battery Tech. (Photo: BMW)

BMW partners with Out Next Energy (ONE) for cutting-edge EV battery tech—Gemini battery prototype achieves nearly 1,000km range.

BMW has collaborated with Michigan-based energy storage technology company Out Next Energy (ONE) to push the boundaries of electric vehicle (EV) performance.

ONE has recently unveiled a proof-of-concept battery, known as Gemini, which was successfully tested on a modified BMW iX xDrive50, achieving an impressive nearly 1,000-kilometer range on a single charge. It’s crucial to note that this achievement was recorded using Europe’s optimistic testing cycle, WLTP ( Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure).

When we convert these numbers to U.S. standards, using the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) testing methodology, Car and Driver reports that the range would be approximately 516 miles. This is nearly 200 miles more than the standard iX xDrive50, which, for the model years 2022–2023, was previously estimated by the EPA to have a range of up to 324 miles on a full charge.

The collaboration takes an interesting turn as BMW is not only working closely with ONE but is also a major investor in the energy storage technology company. This has sparked speculation that the German luxury car manufacturer, with its EV strategy, might integrate the new battery technology into future iX electric SUVs, according to the report by Hindustan Times.

Gemini boasts a unique design featuring two different cell types, each with distinct battery chemistries. The primary power source for the electric motors is a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode, known for its low energy density. This cell type handles approximately 99% of daily driving duties, providing the iX with approximately 127 miles of range when converted to EPA standards.

Car and driver explained that when the primary cell is depleted, a second anode-free cell with a high energy density takes over. This cell, derived from a proprietary material rich in manganese with minimal cobalt and nickel, charges the primary cell and enables the iX to achieve an estimated range of over 510 miles, according to EPA standards.

The Gemini battery design not only promises extended range but also aims to reduce environmental impact and production costs. ONE claims that the battery reduces lithium use by up to 20 percent and graphite by 60 percent, contributing to a more sustainable and cost-effective solution for electric vehicles.

However, it’s essential to note that the BMW iX with the dual-chemistry Gemini battery is currently not slated for production. The Gemini pack remains a proof of concept, similar to the one retrofitted onto a Tesla Model S by ONE last year. While the prototype showcased an impressive 752-mile range, the next step in Gemini’s development involves collaboration with another unnamed automaker.

A spokesperson from ONE emphasised that the timing of production would depend on potential customer needs for a specific Gemini application, Car and Driver added. They clarified that there are currently no plans to sell the dual-chemistry battery as an individual pack for retrofitting onto privately owned EVs.

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