Now Reading
Electric iX3 is every bit a BMW, sans the tariff burden

Electric iX3 is every bit a BMW, sans the tariff burden

Tessa R. Salazar

In this world where everything is taxed, well, let’s thank our lucky stars that for the electric vehicle (EV) industry, the taxman has looked the other way for now.

The latest EV to benefit from the tax brakes, er, breaks, is the new BMW iX3 M Sport, the Bavarian marque’s full EV sport activity vehicle (SAV), that now just goes for P4,590,000 instead of the P5,290,000.

That hefty P700,000 price cut is made possible by Executive Order (EO) 12, freshly signed by the Philippine President, which dictates the temporary suspension of import duties on completely built EVs and EV component parts for the next five years.

The Jan. 23 launch of the iX3 at the RSA Motors in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City, was thus spiced up with such good news for both EV and BMW enthusiasts.

For me, however, something even better about the iX3 was announced by no less than Spencer Yu, president of SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp, the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines.

This China-sourced SAV has been fitted with “man-made seat upholstery that has the same suppleness, the same feel as (genuine) leather but all reducing the carbon footprint. No cows were sacrificed in the making of the car (seats),” Yu said during his speech. Now that made my heart skip a few happy beats.

The iX3 is the second full-electric BMW vehicle available in the country (after the launch of the iX earlier in 2022). As a bonus, it was announced that every purchase of the iX3 comes with a iWallbox charger installed by BMW technicians right at the customer’s home. The iWallbox comes with a 5-year BMW factory warranty, an 8-year high-voltage battery warranty, and a 6-year BMW Service Inclusive warranty. The iX3 and iWallbox package is available at RSA Motors Libis and RSA Motors Greenhills dealerships.

Yu himself sounded relieved that the iX3 launch coincided with the signing of EO12, and he commended his team for the timing of the launch. He stressed that EO12 would definitely stimulate the market.

“We are hoping that EO12 will help shift the market towards electrification in order to create a more sustainable planet for future generations,” he said.


Competitor prices

In the wake of the signing of the EO, I wondered if the iX3’s direct competitors the Jaguar iPace and the Audi eTron would also lower their SRPs. Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (Evap) president Edmund Araga, who’s compiling a list of “before” and “after” prices of EVs, offered the information that from the original P7.7 million, the iPace would soon be offered for P6.5 million. As for the eTron, Araga said that PGA Cars still offered no definite post-EO12 price point.

Evap chair emeritus Ferdinand Raquelsantos, on the other hand, disclosed that with the signing of the Executive Order, prices of EVs would “generally be reduced by 20 percent, making it very competitive with those of internal combustion engines (ICEs).”

He added, “EVs will become more affordable, and its proliferation will be much wider. People will realize how efficient and a lot cheaper EVs are to drive and maintain. You don’t need to have your vehicle go through periodic maintenance servicing up to the first 35,000 km. Not to mention their positive impact on the environment and on everyone’s health as they promote clean and efficient sustainable energy. Imagine how great it feels when you charge your EV, and your power even comes from renewable solar energy.” Raquelsantos is also an advocate for renewable energies such as solar and wind power.

Emissions-free driving

According to the presser, “the iX3 blends emissions-free driving pleasure with the sporting ability—for which BMW is renowned—and the comfort, multi-faceted functionality and spaciousness of an SAV.”

Though he’s mum on projected sales for the year, as he pointed to an “ongoing global supply shortage”, he assures would-be buyers that the team is “working towards meeting the anticipated demand.”

Pretty soon, the iX3 and the iX would be joined by a third BMW battery electric vehicle, as Yu disclosed another EV launch would be held by the second quarter of the year.

See Also

An X3 with a BEV platform

The iX3 is essentially an X3 on a battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, stressed Yu. The presser states that “the exterior design of the first-ever BMW iX3 displays the typical proportions of an SAV, providing a visual showcase for the robust premium character and all-round talents espoused by BMW X models. But it also adds a locally emission-free drive system to the mix without dilution of core SAV attributes. The front apron and BMW kidney grille have a largely enclosed design, while the rear end has also been sculpted in order to reduce air resistance.”

On paper, here’s the iX3’s performance and range: “The power density of the electric motor in the iX3 is 30 percent greater than that of existing EVs from the BMW Group. The motor displays efficiency of up to 93 percent, in comparison to under 40 percent for combustion engines.

“The new drive system unit generates a maximum output of 286 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm which, unlike with many other electric motors, is sustained at high revs. The iX3 sprints from 0 to 100 kph in 6.8 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 180 kph.

“A gross energy content of 80 kWh—of which 74 kWh is utilized—and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the iX3 to offer a range of up to 460 km in the WLTP test cycle.”

Compassionate seats

The iX3 comes in cruelty-free leather seats called Sensatec. Yu explained that the iX3 represents what BMW sustainability is all about, as he shared that in recent years, more and more man-made materials have been put to use. Indeed, among the interior highlights of the iX3 M Sport has been the use of sustainable elements aimed to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of BMW i models, and this includes Sensatec perforated upholstery in the cabin.

The iX3 also features electrically adjustable seats with memory function on the driver’s side, a panoramic glass sunroof, acoustic glazing for the front door windows, ambient lighting, three-zone automatic climate control system, the BMW Comfort Access System, and automatic tailgate operation.