- “Born electric” concept
- Innovative design
- Sustainable production
- Availability of range extender
BMW Group Australia has announced the arrival of the first of their groundbreaking all-electric vehicles, the BMW i3, from the company’s new sub-brand, BMW i. The pre-production vehicle was air-freighted to Australia to begin a packed schedule of appearances at events designed to generate awareness of the future-oriented small car.
Unveiling the vehicle in Melbourne today, BMW Group Australia managing director, Phil Horton, said the BMW i sub-brand was the most compelling concept for electric mobility designed by an automotive manufacturer to date.
“The new BMW i sub-brand stands for visionary vehicles, like the BMW i3, as well as a host of innovative mobility services designed to be efficient and environmentally friendly.
“While the consumer launch of the BMW i3 is still several months away, we have received such strong enquiry from potential customers that we decided to commence our preview events early,” Horton said.
Along with innovative vehicle concepts, the BMW i sub-brand represents inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.
Described as “born electric,” the BMW i3 is the first-ever electric vehicle to be conceived and custom built under the auspices of the new BMW i sub-brand, and utilises cutting edge, light-weight components and innovative production processes.
With excellent performance characteristics and agile dynamics, the The BMW i3 presents low-emission mobility in a premium car package that clearly demonstrates BMW’s customary sporting capability.
The BMW i3 is based on a new kind of vehicle architecture, the LifeDrive concept, which includes a “Life” cell or passenger compartment made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and a “Drive” cell or chassis and drivetrain formed from lightweight and aluminium materials.
Opposing “coach” doors, coupled with the absence of B-pillars and the centre tunnel normally found in conventional vehicles form the basis for the unusually high degree of spaciousness and freedom of movement inside the BMW i3.
The BMW i3’s electric motor develops an output of 125 kW using power supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack mounted in a low, central position in the car’s under body.
Like the extraordinarily light yet extremely rigid CFRP passenger cell, the electric drive system and battery housing were developed and produced by the BMW Group.
The BMW i3 weighs just 1,195 kilograms (DIN kerb weight) and offers a range of 130 – 160 kilometres in everyday driving. This can be increased to a maximum 300 kilometres if the two-cylinder range extender combustion engine is specified.
A signature theme of the BMW i brand is sustainability, and this is portrayed in all aspects of the vehicle’s production and component sourcing. The carbon fibres for the passenger cell are manufactured at Moses Lake in the USA using hydro power alone, while the energy required for production of BMW i cars at the BMW Plant in Leipzig, Germany is generated 100 per cent by purpose-built wind turbines.
On its release in Australia in 2014, the BMW i3 will showcase selected driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive and the company’s 360° ELECTRIC services – all developed specially for BMW i .
Specifications and pricing for the BMW i3 will be released closer to the vehicle’s customer launch date.
A new era in electric mobility: The BMW i3.
The world, and with it the sphere of personal mobility, is in a state of ecological, economic and social upheaval. Global developments such as climate change, dwindling resources and increasing urbanisation call for fresh solutions.
BMW i is finding those solutions. The brand stands for visionary vehicle concepts, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.
In the BMW i3 – the first series-produced model by BMW i – zero-emission mobility in a premium car package proves to be a recipe for pure driving pleasure.
The first BMW Group model running on electric power alone offers customers totally new and groundbreaking ways to experience driving pleasure, sustainability and connectivity on city roads.
The visionary design of the BMW i3 showcases both BMW’s customary sporting capability and the efficiency of a four-seater with authentic clarity.
Its innovative vehicle concept, including a passenger compartment made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), combines lightness, stability and safety with extraordinary spaciousness.
Meanwhile, the driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW Connected Drive and the 360° ELECTRIC services – all developed specially for BMW i – turn zero-emission urban mobility into a compelling everyday driving experience.
The electric motor powering the BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW and peak torque of 250 Newton metres. Its instantaneous power flows to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The motor sources its energy from lithium-ion storage cells integrated into the car’s underfloor section.
The significantly lower centre of gravity of the i3 – the result of the low, central placement of the battery units – and even weight distribution make an additional contribution to the car’s agile handling. The battery gives the car a range in everyday conditions of 130 – 160 kilometres when fully charged from a conventional domestic power socket, BMW i Wallbox or public charging station.