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BMW i3 / i8 / ActiveE
Are you excited about the upcoming BMW i3 or i8? Interested in learning more about the BMW ActiveE? This is the place for you!

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2014, 11:13 AM
Bernie@Bimmerfest Bernie@Bimmerfest is online now
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Tesla adds titanium shielding to protect batteries- What does BMW offer in i models?

”batteries”

Last year, two of Tesla’s Model S cars were involved in collisions that resulted in the vehicles catching fire. Damage to the cars undercarriage during the collision was said to be the cause of the fires. Even though nobody was hurt in the fires and Tesla had the odds of a fire in a Model S being five times lower than those of the average gasoline car, Tesla is making a change to give its owners complete piece of mind.

Tesla came up with a three part undercarriage shield system for the Model S. This shield system, containing a titanium plate, will help protect the rather strong quarter inch of ballistic grade aluminum armor plate that already protects the battery pack. Overkill is a word that comes to mind, however, Tesla has thrown some serious debris at the shield in testing, and it does the trick. Objects that may have had the chance to spike into the battery area are simply deflected.

”batteries”
”batteries”

If this is the distance that Tesla is going to ensure battery, and ultimately occupancy safety what is BMW doing? Sure, the i3 is a higher riding vehicle, but its battery pack is still in the floor of the vehicle, in BMW aluminum drive module, much like the Tesla. The i8 has a sportier ride height and has its batteries stacked in the center ‘transmission tunnel’ area, but the lowest batteries seem to still be at risk for spiking, much like the Tesla’s. In light of the changes being made by Tesla, should BMW look at adding additional shielding?

Source Medium.com
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:37 PM
HugH HugH is offline
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My test took place at BMW of Arlington (TX). They have a person who attended a three day seminar in Houston covering just about everything on the i3.

He told me that the battery used in the Tesla is different than the one in the i3. Also, the battery in the Tesla is water cooled while the i3 battery is freon cooled.

The combination of water and type of battery in the Tesla caused a reactance during the accidents and that's how the batteries went up in flames. In the i3, the freon will not cause any reactance, therefore no fire.

BTW - The i3 battery is small and divided into 8 sections. If any indication shows battery malfunction, instead of having to replace the whole battery, they only replace the faulty section.

I suppose the protection of the 13 battery will be similar or perhaps better than the gas tank on regular cars.

Last edited by HugH; 04-19-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2014, 11:36 AM
BMWGeniusSoFLA BMWGeniusSoFLA is offline
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In addition to HugH's comment...

I just attended that same BMW i3 training in Houston,TX April 10th.

BMW thought of that possibility before the launch of their electric vehicles. Occupants are protected by what is called the "life module".

The life module is basically the skeleton of the car which includes a solid floor, separating the occupants from the battery. This life module is constructed using CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic). (Said to be stronger than titanium) This CFRP will revolutionize cars as we know them today, the material is incredibly strong and super lightweight! The BMW i3 weighs in at 2,700 lbs, making it one of two of the lightest BMWs ever made in history! Not to mention the i3 is the fastest driving machine BMW has ever made from 0-30mph! I'm beyond excited for the crash ratings to come out for the i3 and prove to the rest of the world the strength and possibilities of this CFRP.

***Fun Facts for those who aren't aware: BMW has their own Carbon Fiber factory in Moses Lake, WA that is ran on Hydro-electric power. That factory creates giant spools of Carbon Fiber strands that are then sent to BMW's wind powered plant in Leipzig, Germany where those spools are weaved into the textiles that are reinforced through a special process and water jet cut into the pieces that form the life module. (Look into it, it's fascinating!!) Making it surprisingly cost effective and leaving a darn near non-exist carbon footprint. Now you might be able to understand the tagline "Born Electric" associated with the BMW i3 and why it has won both the 2014 World Car Design and World Green Car of the Year Awards.***

Not only are the occupants safely separated from the modular battery in the BMW i3, but the battery is hermatically housed from the elements of drving on a daily basis. In the case of an accident, there are sensors in place to disconnect power from the battery in a split second.

As you might guess, I'm truly fascinated by the thought BMW has put into the i cars and so proud to be a part of the BMW family!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:02 AM
mrbelk mrbelk is offline
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I think also that we should note that Tesla just uses ~7000 (that's right, 7 _thousand_) Sony Vaio laptop batteries while BMW's batteries are bespoke and engineered specifically for automotive use.

-MrB
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2014, 09:25 AM
BMWGeniusSoFLA BMWGeniusSoFLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
I think also that we should note that Tesla just uses ~7000 (that's right, 7 _thousand_) Sony Vaio laptop batteries while BMW's batteries are bespoke and engineered specifically for automotive use.

-MrB
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2014, 06:23 AM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
I think also that we should note that Tesla just uses ~7000 (that's right, 7 _thousand_) Sony Vaio laptop batteries while BMW's batteries are bespoke and engineered specifically for automotive use.

-MrB
Depending on who you talk to this is an advantage to Tesla.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2014, 01:22 PM
BMWGeniusSoFLA BMWGeniusSoFLA is offline
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Depending on who you talk to this is an advantage to Tesla.
Think of how the charge life is affected over time on our laptops, how many of us eventually have to remain plugged in to operate our laptops? Might want to invest in extention cords if you don't have the money to replace that Tesla battery once it goes (kidding)... Also, wouldn't you rather a battery designed specifically for a vehicle? Think of the bumps and turbulance that battery is enduring with our daily driving.

Personally, I would much rather face replacing the affected interchangable module of a BMW battery versus having to pay out of pocket for the whole unit of a Tesla once the warranty is up. BMW is thinking ahead for their clients, a modular battery means for more cost efficient repairs long term.

*** Oh and once each module reaches the end of their "vehicle powering life", they won't just be dumped in some landfill to rot away our earth. They may not be suitable to power your vehicle anymore but they still have plenty of juice at that point, so instead of dumping them BMW is working out a plan where those batteries modules will find a new home and be put to good use. Extremely green of our Germans don't you think?
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2014, 01:40 PM
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I think this says otherwise but as we're not engineers and the BMW i3 isn't out yet even if we were we would be arguing over theoretical points anyways.

Quote:
Tesla's choice of these small lithium-ion batteries is, arguably, one of its most important strategic gambles. Established automakers have chosen larger battery cells-they make engineering a battery pack simpler, since you need fewer of them. But the larger cells, because they contain more energy, are also more dangerous. So automakers use less energy-dense battery materials that are more resistant to catching fire. Trying to offset the lower energy density, automakers chose flat cells because they pack together more densely, but such cells cost more to manufacture.

By choosing smaller, cylindrical cells, Tesla saved on manufacturing costs-their costs have been driven down by economies of scale for the laptop industry, for which the cells were developed. Tesla could also use the most energy-dense battery materials available, in part because smaller cells are inherently less dangerous. And better energy density reduces materials costs. This approach meant Tesla had to develop a way to wire together many thousands of separate cells, compared to several hundred of the larger cells. Straubel also invented a liquid cooling system that snakes between the cells and can remove heat so quickly that a problem with one cell doesn't spread to the others.

Choosing the smaller, cylindrical cells also gave Tesla more flexibility in packaging the cells. Large, flat cells will deform in a collision and possibly catch fire, so other automakers have had to find places within the car where the battery would be out of the way in a crash. That meant using up some passenger or cargo space. Tesla says it has passed its crash tests without its cells deforming or coolant leaking.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news...ar-innovation/

Tesla's Closed Loop Battery Recycling Program

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesl...ycling-program
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2014, 02:15 PM
BMWGeniusSoFLA BMWGeniusSoFLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
I think this says otherwise but as we're not engineers and the BMW i3 isn't out yet even if we were we would be arguing over theoretical points anyways.



http://www.technologyreview.com/news...ar-innovation/

Tesla's Closed Loop Battery Recycling Program

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesl...ycling-program
Thank you for the information and you're right. My understanding with the Tesla fires were that the liquid cooling worked against their favor by adding fuel to the flame. As we know Tesla makes one incredible vehicle and the occupants were kept safe. So I'm not trying to take away from Tesla, just after being granted the awesome experience to drive the i3 around the city of Houston and tear it up on a course seeing first hand what these cars can do and learing how much thought BMW put into the i3 and i8, I'm beyond excited about them and can't wait to see this i series develop!!

Here's some info I found for you...

"Also worth considering is that Tesla is using liquid cooling with the model S and has training materials that indicate water should not be applied to a battery fire.

How is BMW protecting the i3 battery?According to a BMW spokesperson, BMW is using aluminum too with the battery cells being contained contained in hardened metal boxes. BMW believes it has equipped the all-new 2014 BMW i3 with the safest electric vehicle battery system for sale in North America. The battery cooling system of the i3 is filled with an inert gas refrigerant (R134a), which will not react with lithium to form combustible hydrogen. Furthermore, the battery electrolyte of the i3 is suspended in gel form, rather than liquid, which mitigates the rate and amount of electrolyte leakage in event of severe damage. BMW has performed extensive development testing to demonstrate and verify the minimal risk of fire in the i3 battery system.

Armored from underneath by the thick floor of its Drive Module (aluminum), the i3 battery tray uses 96 self-contained and individually-managed battery cells grouped in a rectangular array of eight “twelve-pack” modules. Each twelve-pack may be individually diagnosed and serviced by a trained technician at any Authorized BMW Center in less than five labor hours."


http://www.bimmerfile.com/2013/11/14...ry-protection/
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2014, 02:26 PM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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I'm a big fan of the i3. I drove it a few months back and really enjoyed it - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=738992

I just wanted to point out that crappy on the Tesla for the battery choice doesn't make sense.

TIm
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:34 PM
BMWGeniusSoFLA BMWGeniusSoFLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
I'm a big fan of the i3. I drove it a few months back and really enjoyed it - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=738992

I just wanted to point out that crappy on the Tesla for the battery choice doesn't make sense.

TIm
Hahah very true, you're awesome Tim! I think we would make one hell of a debate team! lol

Best regards,
Taylor
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2014, 06:35 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
I'm a big fan of the i3. I drove it a few months back and really enjoyed it - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=738992

I just wanted to point out that crappy on the Tesla for the battery choice doesn't make sense.

TIm
Tesla's battery choice is one of its strategic weaknesses, as Elon Mush himself has admitted to supply chain issues(including batteries) when competing with others who have much larger volume(and clout) than Tesla. The recent move to build its own battery factory is a step in the right direction, provided Tesla can weather the market before amassing enough proprietary advantages.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:42 AM
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Can I also point out that even tho the fires had occurred and no one was hurt, all those people said if they had to choose again they'd buy the tesla again
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:03 AM
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Tesla use a different battery chemistry the BMW. Tesla batteries have higher energy density then BMW and Nissan. One of the reasons why the MS can do what it does.

The downside is that they are are susceptible to thermal runaway and in rare cases will catch fire. Boeing use the same basic battery chemistry as Tesla. But Boeing uses large prismatic cells with little space between the cells, making a fire more likely.





Tesla needs the titanium battery case to keep the car safe. Nissan doesn't because it is almost impossible for the batteries to burn. i3 is probably similar. Won't know until someone tries to burn an i3 battery.

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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 06-04-2014 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:47 AM
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The tesla can be adjusted to a 8" height using smart air suspensions so if the owner was that anal about it that's always an option.
Also, there were only one highway debris incidents. The other was a fire due to faulty wiring in the owners own home.
The i3 may have 8 different units for the battery but the tesla has 16 moduals for it's battery, I'm not sure how the i3 battery is different but the tesla batteries are lithium-ions (7000) as mentioned above when one cell doesn't work, it doesn't really affect the battery that much but it comes with an 8 year warranty and tesla has done extensive tests to it's battery and results show it's lifespan is 12-17 years. Of course, in the market currently the new battery is $10000 but as technology innovates that price will definitely decrease in 12 years. In the tesla, when there is more than a regular use decrease in its battery, the service center swaps it out for you within 10mins fully under warranty.
Sure the i3 may have different batteries but they also have less both the i3 and 8's range can not compete with 480km for the Tesla's 80khw battery in my opinion.
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