The revolutionary BMW i3 makes its debut at LCV2013
The BMW i3, the world’s first premium-segment car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system, is on show at LCV2013(Low Carbon Vehicle Event), Millbrook, ahead of its first appearance to the wider public at next week’s 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
Among the first of the 2,000 event visitors to enjoy a closer look at the revolutionary BMW i3 was Transport Minister Norman Baker. He announced that the BMW i3 is eligible for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, helping to make the first zero-emission vehicle in the premium car segment an affordable, as well as a technologically and environmentally attractive, proposition for customers.
The Transport Minister said: “I am delighted that BMW’s new i3 has just qualified for the Coalition Government’s Plug-in Car Grant. We have now had over 5,000 claims made for our Plug-in Car and Van Grants, which is excellent progress.
“There are great strides being made by the auto sector in developing and building plug-in vehicles and this is supported by a Government that is fully behind this effort over the long-term.
“There is no need to wait for the future, these technologies are with us today. New cars like the i3 will really help to bring that home to consumers.”
Suzanne Gray, General Manager for BMW i in the UK, welcomed the confirmation of Government support: “The UK is a key market for the success of our BMW i3. Working together with Government, city authorities and other key partners, we are confident that our exciting new approach to sustainable urban mobility will provide customers with an attractive offer for electromobility. It addresses the environmental challenges facing a growing number of countries and megacities in Europe and around the world.”
In the BMW i3, the use of lightweight CFRP for the passenger cell compensates for the extra weight of the battery. The low, central location of the battery pack enhances the car’s agility thanks to perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity.
The electric motor generates an output of 170hp, with peak torque of 250Nm on demand instantly. This allows the BMW i3 to sprint from zero to 37mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds, while the lithium-ion battery gives a range of 80 –100 miles in everyday driving. This rises by approximately 15 per cent in ECO PRO mode and by the same again in ECO PRO+ mode.
Since 2009, BMW has conducted research on a global scale with the MINI E and BMW Active E programmes. A UK government report has established that the average commute is 13.1 miles each way, and the average daily mileage 25 miles.
For customers particularly conscious of ‘range anxiety’, the BMW i3 is also available with a range extender engine, powering a generator to maintain the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move. This is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine developing 34hp and mounted immediately next to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car’s maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 180 miles on one tank of fuel. The BMW i3 Range Extender costs $45,200.
Both BMW i3 models include a three-year, unlimited mileage vehicle warranty and an eight-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty. The battery is also included in the price of the car, negating a separate lease charge for the battery.
The price for the BMW i3 starts at $41,350 and $45,200 for the Range Extender.
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