Electrifying entrance for iX1
The all-electric version of the X1 was launched on Friday, May 5, at the Constant Spring Golf Club, St Andrew. (Photo: Rory Daley)

The BMW iX1 was unveiled at BMW's third all-electric vehicle (EV) launch — its first for the year — on Friday, May 5, at the famed Constant Spring Golf Club.

BMW's smallest Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) debuts with an all-electric drivetrain for its third generation.

"We're the first in the Caribbean to receive the all-electric version of the X1, the iX1," Sloane Jackson, head of business — ATL Autobahn, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The iX1 uses dual electric motors for a total of 313bhp and up to 440km of range. (Photo: Rory Daley)

"The BMW brand has become very much an SAV brand. Gone are the days when the 3 Series was our best-selling car, or the 5 Series would be a car that we stock very often. The 5 Series is now a special order car that costs $18 million and the 3 Series is now $12 to $13 million. So, customers when they're looking at paying that amount of money tend to go towards an X1, X3, X5, or X7, and the X1 starts the train at under $10 million," Jackson said.

He elaborated further, explaining that the X1 is a popular seller, accounting for around 15 per cent of sales volume currently. Jackson expects that trend to continue as he sees the X1 as a great value versus other competitors within the premium space and even options from traditional Japanese brands.

"The local market is moving away from only gas vehicles due to our high fuel prices. Jamaicans are paying between $200 and $250 on average for a litre of fuel, and when you run a full tank of gas, customers have reported paying as much as $10,000. An EV brings us back into the game with, firstly, a less expensive vehicle. You get a better car for the same money and then you have the flexibility of doing full charging at your home, avoiding the long lines currently at most gas stations."

(From left) Mellisa Bailey, sales manager - MINI Jamaica; Sloane Jackson, head of business - ATL Autobahn; Nickalia Kinkead, sales manager, Premium Division - Montego Bay, ATL Automotive; Stephen Hector, group marketing director - ATL Automotive; Jeanel Bowla, sales manager - BMW Jamaica; and Arielle Oliver, marketing executive - BMW & MINI, at the launch of the BMW iX1. (Photo: Rory Daley)

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 is bigger in length, width, and wheel base to provide better driving dynamics and passenger comfort. The dual motor drivetrain uses an electric motor front and rear for a combined power output of 313bhp and 364lb-ft of torque. This also gives the iX1 all-wheel drive capabilities. The extra traction not only provides safety on the road, but performance as well, with the BMW able to hit 62mph in 5.6 seconds. Top speed is 112mph. Powering the two motors is a battery delivering 64.7kWh of useable energy and a range of up to 440 kilometres.

Charging is both physical and software driven due to BMW's Combined Charging Unit. Software precisely controls behaviour for quickly and efficient charging. The integration with the physical hardware allows several operational modes, including DC fast charging up to 130kW. From zero it can take anywhere between 6.5 hours to just under four hours to charge the iX1. Up to 80 per cent charge can be done in 29 minutes with the correct connection. Buyers of the vehicle will receive a level 2 home wall charging station.

Charging on the BMW iX1 can be range between 30 minutes to 6.5 hours. (Photo: Rory Daley)

"There's the convenience of charging at home. You go into your garage, park where you'd normally park, and plug in the iX1. You go inside, the car charges itself, it stops when the battery is full no longer drawing energy and you're looking at maybe $4,000 to $5,000 per complete charge cycle," said Jackson.

As an EV, the iX1 gets an impressive service package to further help the peace of mind of ownership.

"All BMW EVs are coming with four years of service, unlimited mileage, which can be upgraded to a six-year package, costing around the same as the three-year package for non-EVs. You can also increase the warranty from three to four years, and the battery warranty for the EVs is eight years."

The interior inherits many upgrades including the BMW Curved Display, BMW Operating System 8, and BMW Live Cockpit Plus. (Photo: Rory Daley)
BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

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