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BMW i3: The Ultimate Driving Machine in a New Era of Urban Mobility

    BMW introduced the all-new BMW i3 electric car, constructed in a revolutionary way from next-generation materials. The new all-electric BMW i3 is a milestone in BMW’s mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker. The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand. It is a new age for electro-mobility at BMW. The concept behind the BMW i3 was designed from the start to incorporate an all-electric drive system.  This is better than the "conversion" of vehicles, where the original combustion engine is switched with an electric motor. The BMW i3's development is dictated by the characteristics designed into the car by the development team and not by the constraints imposed by a pre-existing vehicle design.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
30 Jul 2013

The all-new BMW i3 comprises of two modules; the Life Module, and the Drive Module. Think of the Life Module as the passenger cabin, or greenhouse. It is the first-ever mass produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger cell in the automotive business, and is a big factor in the cars efficiency. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic(CFRP) is equally as strong as steel, while being 50% lighter, and 30% lighter than aluminum. Due to the lightweight, high tensile strength of CFRP, the passenger cell has added protection, and the battery has less work to do, which allows for the use of a smaller, lighter battery that saves even more weight, reduces charging time and increases range. The light weight design of the Life Module also lowers the BMW i3’s center of gravity, making it a more engaging and dynamic car to drive.

The Drive Module, which is constructed out of 100% aluminum, consists of the 22-kWh, 450 lb. lithium-ion battery, electric drive train, MacPherson strut and 5-link rear suspension system and structural and crash components. The battery mounted in the rear, close to the drive wheels, gives impressive performance characteristics while also providing better traction.

The interior is made using high quality renewable sources and recycled materials. The BMW i3 has the Next Premium interior, which blends sustainable resources with a premium feel for the same interior quality as the BMW 5 Series Sedan. 25% of the plastics in the interior and 25% of the thermoplastic parts on the exterior are made from either recycled materials or renewable sources.

The BMW i3 will be able to travel 80 to 100 miles on a single charge. This can be increased by up to approximately 12% in ECO PRO mode and by the same amount again in ECO PRO+ mode. It is able to recharge in only 3 hours with the use of a 220V Level 2, 32-amp J1772 charger. The SAE DC Combo Fast Charging, which charges the BMW i3 up to 80% in 20 minutes, and 100% in 30, can be had as an option.

A rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline-powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels. The Range Extender adds roughly 330 lbs to the vehicle curb weight.

Take a closer look at the all-new BMW i3 in our gallery.

Credits: Oneshift News Team

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