The 2022 BMW iX is one of only a handful of battery-electric vehicles that can travel more than 300 miles regardless of the wheel and tire combination. That’s about to get doubled because Our Next Energy (ONE), a battery company based in Michigan recently signed an agreement with BMW Group to incorporate the Gemini battery with dual-chemistry technology into the iX. This pack reduces lithium use by 20% and graphite by 60% while cutting the amount of nickel and cobalt. As a result, you get a more sustainable energy storage solution with a smaller environmental impact.
“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.” Ijaz added that maintaining highway speeds, cold weather, climbing steep inclines, towing, or a combination of all four scenarios present a challenge to BEVs. ONE aims to pack twice as much energy into its batteries to address this and provide a better driving range in the real world.
BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of BMW Group based in Silicon Valley, is an investor in ONE. It recently invested $65 million into the company to help its battery development work. The first BMW iX prototype with the Gemini battery is expected to be completed next year. Thanks to the new pack, the crossover’s range will increase to 600 miles, nearly doubling the stock vehicle’s capability, which is between 305 to 324 miles depending on the wheel size. Based on the range figures, we suspect the variant being modified by ONE is the iX xDrive50, which uses two electric motors generating 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque combined. It comes from the factory with a 111.5-kWh battery. There’s also the more powerful iX M60, which makes 532 hp and 649 lb-ft. Use launch control and the output jumps to 610 hp and 811 lb-ft for a short period. The tradeoff for that additional power is driving range because the iX M60 is rated at 288 miles with the standard 21-inch wheels or 274 miles with the optional 22-inch units.
The iX is the second vehicle to use ONE’s Gemini battery. The company tested a Tesla Model S retrofitted with the pack and took it on a road test across Michigan in 2021 where it traveled 752 miles in normal driving. When driven at a lower average speed of 55 mph, the sedan was able to travel 882 miles between charges. The pack used in that test had a capacity of 203.7 kWh, which is nearly double the capacity of what comes standard in the BMW iX.
Despite its increased energy capacity, the Gemini battery isn’t very big. It also uses anode-free cells to achieve its high capacity without increasing the pack’s overall size. ONE also has a second battery called the Aries, which features a structural cell-to-pack design for higher energy density. This unit is about 79 kWh and uses sustainable cathode chemistry. It can also withstand 3,000 cycles at full depth of discharge throughout its intended life cycle.