BMW iX Achieves 608.1 WLTP Miles with Prototype Battery from Our Next Energy

BMW iX Achieves 608.1 WLTP Miles with Prototype Battery from Our Next Energy

In a remarkable test last year, ONE's battery was integrated into a Tesla Model S, covering an impressive 752 miles in challenging Michigan winter conditions.  The goal was ambitious — to achieve 600 miles of range according to the European WLTP cycle.    

The dual chemistry pairs a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) module of middling energy density of 441 watt-hours per liter of energy with a second, high-energy, anode-free cell composed of a proprietary chemistry ONE hasn't divulged the composition of, this second module producing 1,000 Wh/L. The two modules are connected by a DC-to-DC converter. The LFP modules power the motors, ONE saying that in the iX, the combined LFP modules are good for about 150 WLTP miles of driving. The combined high-energy modules act like a range extender, passing their energy through the DC-to-DC converter into the LFP modules, thereby powering another roughly 400 WLTP miles of running. Note, this isn't two discrete batteries plugged into one another. Remove the top of the iX's battery enclosure, you'd see rows of modules hooked up with numerous DC converters. We're told the Gemini's total combined energy can be as much as 185 kWh or more in a typical pack case of 300 to 400 liters (11 to 14 cubic feet). Furthermore, ONE says its chemistry minimizes cobalt, uses up to 20% less lithium, 60% less graphite, and 75% less nickel.

Key Features

1. Pioneering Battery Technology

ONE, led by CEO Mueeb Ijaz, a seasoned executive with experience at tech giants like Apple and former EV battery manufacturer A123 Systems, has been at the forefront of developing innovative battery solutions. The choice of the Tesla Model S for the initial demonstration was strategic, given its high efficiency and substantial battery capacity.

2. BMW  Testing the Limits

In June of the previous year, BMW entered into a collaboration with ONE to explore the capabilities of their new long-range lithium-ion battery tech. The objective was clear — to push the boundaries of electric vehicle range and achieve an impressive 600 miles on a single charge, as per the European WLTP cycle. This endeavor aimed to surpass the baseline range of the series production iX, which is rated at 257 miles with the 71-kWh pack or 392 miles with the 105-kWh pack.

3.  Range Achievement

The results of the collaborative effort between BMW and ONE surpassed expectations. On the dynamometer, the iX equipped with ONE's Gemini batteries achieved a remarkable range of 608.1 miles on a single charge. While this result was under the WLTP cycle, its potential equivalence on the EPA cycle is estimated to be around 500 miles.

As EVs cover more miles on a single charge, the need for charging infrastructure is reduced, making long-distance travel more feasible.

6. CEO Insights: Mueeb Ijaz on the Milestone

Mueeb Ijaz, CEO of Our Next Energy, shared insights into the milestone achievement. Drawing on his experience in the tech and EV sectors, Ijaz expressed satisfaction in surpassing the initial goal.

7. Future Prospects and Industry Adoption

The success of ONE's Gemini batteries in the BMW iX test opens doors to future prospects and potential industry adoption.

9. Regulatory Landscape and Global Sustainability Goals

The automotive industry is increasingly influenced by regulatory measures and global sustainability goals.?

Key Points

Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry, often overshadowed by more prevalent lithium-ion batteries, is gaining attention as a cost-effective alternative, especially for electric vehicles (EVs) that prioritize affordability over extended ranges. Our Next Energy (ONE), led by CEO Mueeb Ijaz, a veteran of A123 Systems, is at the forefront of harnessing the potential of LFP technology.

1. The Emergence of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP): LFP, a form of lithium-ion battery, has emerged as a viable alternative for EVs seeking a balance between cost-effectiveness and performance. While not as widely adopted in the U.S., it is gaining traction as automakers explore diverse battery chemistries to cater to different market segments. A123 Systems, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, played a pivotal role in bringing LFP batteries to the forefront.  Established in 2001, A123 Systems was the first to commercialize LFP batteries.Despite early promise and government support, factors like limited range and fluctuating gas prices led to its downfall.

2. Wanxiang Group's Acquisition and Resurgence: Following A123 Systems' bankruptcy, Chinese parts maker Wanxiang Group acquired the company's assets in 2013.  

3. The Relevance of LFP in Today's EV Market: In the current EV market, where diverse chemistries coexist, LFP stands out for specific applications. Affordable EVs that prioritize cost-efficiency over extended ranges can benefit significantly from the inherent characteristics of LFP batteries. The safety, longevity, and lower production costs make LFP a favorable choice, especially under the stewardship of industry veterans like Mueeb Ijaz.

4. ONE's Approach to LFP Technology: Our Next Energy's approach to LFP technology, led by Mueeb Ijaz, represents a continuation of the legacy established by A123 Systems.  While high-performance EVs may continue to rely on other chemistries for extended ranges, the affordability and practicality offered by LFP make it a strong contender for a significant market share.

The historical context of A123 Systems, coupled with the expertise of industry veterans like Mueeb Ijaz, propels LFP into the spotlight.

The Gemini is a ways off from production, the most important step on that path to address the challenges in the way of scaled commercialization. Alongside that development path, ONE says it intends to "radically" improve the efficiency of the DC converter between the two chemistries, increase the durability and safety of the anode-free cell, and refine the algorithms that manage deployment of the range extender battery.