BMW unveils i3, the electric car of the future

BMW has unveiled its lightweight, four-seat, all-electric car, the i3, a car that “opens a new chapter” of design language, tailor-made for electric vehicles. The sporty version, the i8, will be coming soon. Built of aluminum and carbon fibre, the car’s passenger compartment offers “outstanding” protection to passengers. It is the first mass-production use of carbon fibre, made possible by ten years of “intensive” research and experience by BMW. The entire car weighs just under 1,200 kilograms, though it provides the same strength as much heavier steel, according to BMW.

BMWi3-electric-car-lithium-ion-battery-EDIWeekly
BMWi3 was officially unveiled in New York City. The lightweight electric car was designed from the ground up and has a range of up to 300 kilometres when fitted with a gasoline-powered range extender. It will be on sale in Canada in 2014.

A 22-kWh lithium-ion battery powers the i3, giving it a range of 130–160 km in everyday driving. This range can be extended by using the ECO PRO option, which adds 20–40 kilometres. To extend the range even further, drivers can opt for the Range Extender, a gasoline-powered engine that can be mounted next to the electric motor and that keeps the battery from draining below a certain level. With the Range Extender functioning, the car has a total range of about 300 kilometres.

The high-voltage  battery is positioned in the drive module so that it is protected against outside “influences” and has a specially designed heating and air-conditioning unit to control temperature fluctuations, ensuring maximum life of the battery. The battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 100,000 kilometres.

Speaking at the unveiling in New York City, Dr. Norbert Reitholer, Chairman of BMW AG called the i3 “revolutionary,” a car that the automobile industry had waited “well over a century” for, one that was “born electric” and an industry first. He then described how the i3 sets “new benchmarks in sustainable mobility” and will be “the perfect solution” for New Yorkers and other drivers in high-density urban settings.

“In the brand-new architecture, we use carbon fibre for the passenger cell—a first in high-volume car production. Our expertise in manufacturing with this material makes the passenger cell extremely strong and light weight. We produce the carbon fibre material using hydroelectric power. And we build the BMW i3 using wind power.”

To fully charge the battery takes three hours from a home, wall-mounted charge station, though it can be driven with an 80 per cent charge that takes just twenty minutes to deliver. A charging station finder app is included with the i3 to help drivers find public charging options.

BMW says that the i3 can accelerate from 0–100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 150 km/h.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Researchers Discover Surprising Role for Water in Energy Storage
  • Ontario missing out on $billions from federal government: study
  • Montreal company ready to launch tiny greenhouse gas-spotting satellite
  • Inter Pipeline will spend $2.6 billion to transport bitumen to oil sands projects
  • Bombardier to build 170 high-speed rail cars for Siemens
  • Ontario economy set to grow based on exports, weaker dollar
  • Small business tax rate cut to 3.5 percent will only partially mitigate impact of minimum wage increases, both set for January 1 in Ontario
  • Windsor-Detroit bridge can proceed as final obstacles fall
  • Canada should ease foreign ownership rules for uranium, says Sask premier
  • Q3 corporate profits falter on oil, financial sector
  • Daimler Records Big Profits and 2018 Plans
  • Detect lung cancer with a nanotech breathalizer? It works, four out of five times, could revolutionize cancer screening
  • Mining association head warns governments to keep hands off
  • Massive turnaround at Irving refinery a boost for local economy
  • Canada's oil and gas industry gathering in Toronto for two-day forum
  • Auto industry back on top as Canada's biggest exporter: report
  • Proposed BC oil refinery has economic merit: study
  • Ford GT supercar in production at Markham's Multimatic plant
  • Miners struggling with higher costs, lower prices
  • Gas producers argue for use of LNG to power northern communities
Scroll to Top