Prototype BMW iX Aims for 600-Mile Range From Eco-Friendly, Michigan-Made Batteries
BMW could use Michigan-made batteries to double the iX’s range.
The Michigan-based battery technology company ONE (Our Next Energy) announced Monday they are developing a new dual-chemistry battery technology to increase range and reduce nickel and cobalt usage. The new battery tech, called "Gemini," will be used in a BMW iX SUV prototype due by the end of this year with up to 600 miles of range.
BMW's investment arm, i Ventures, is one of ONE's biggest investors and gave the Michigan battery company a $65-million shot in the arm in October. So it's only natural that the two brands would work together on a long-distance battery demonstration. A standard BMW iX can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge thanks to its normal 111.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack, but ONE's Gemini battery promises to double that range.
“We are thrilled to be working with BMW to demonstrate our Gemini long-range battery technology to consumers,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, founder, and CEO of ONE. “As EV adoption grows, drivers are learning that real-world conditions can significantly reduce the performance of their batteries. Common situations like maintaining highway speeds, winter temperatures, climbing mountains, towing, or a combination of all four things present challenges to electric vehicles. We plan to pack twice as much energy into batteries, so EVs can easily handle long-distance driving in real-world conditions.”
ONE's Gemini battery works by having two chemistries, one for power delivery and one for energy storage, and it uses AI to distribute power between each to maximize range. Back in December, ONE retrofitted a Tesla Model S with a Gemini battery pack and achieved 752 miles, traveling from its headquarters in Detroit to the top of Michigan and back. Admittedly, the test was done in the real world, with uncontrolled variables, on mostly highways. But it does provide a real-world example of what the Gemini battery can do.
It will be interesting to see how this partnership unfolds and if ONE can truly deliver a 600-mile BMW iX. If it can, it's possible we could see ONE's battery tech make its way into future production vehicles from BMW.
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