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MT article explains that the grill is the sensor array.

So instead of cumbersome roof-top contraption of self driving test mules encountered daily on local streets, BMW engineers develop a compact front-mount system(and possibly with other "intelligence panels" on the sides and rear), that can be pretty cool.

"Because the i4 doesn't have a combustion engine to cool, the grille is now what BMW calls the "intelligence panel," which houses a range of visual sensors. Radar, lidar, and other sensors needed to facilitate autonomous driving reside behind those huge dual kidneys. As cool as that sounds, we worry that this will make a low-speed frontal impact a lot more expensive to repair than it would be on a car without an "intelligence panel.""

https://www.motortrend.com/news/bmw-i4-concept-first-look-review/
 

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I think you are partially right. We will not stop talking about the hideousness of the I4 grill, especially on a car that doesn't need a big grill for cooling. Just plain ugly. I would overpay for a Tesla before buying the new I4. And I love my 530e.
This i4 looks like a leopard/tiger in prone position, with beaming focused eyes and huge sniffing nostrils to scan the roads ahead, plus 21-inch "paws". :)
 

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The upcoming(2021?) i4 EV looks quite interesting.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/news/1370887/bmw-previews-electric-gran-coupe-with-concept-i4/

It is possible the BMW crowd that moved to Tesla will return to BMW, and keep talking about this i4. :bigpimp:
Looks interesting - but this is still a concept (which the pics clearly show). They say will be rolling off the line in 2021 which basically means it will not really reach consumers until 2022 - if they can keep up with the promises.

I'll reserve judgment until I see the actual production model - with all related data, like range, capabilities, etc.
I am missing a lot of BMW luxuries in my Tesla - but on the other side the tech and self-driving etc. is pretty impressive. Will see how BMW compare - in couple years.
 

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This i4 looks like a leopard/tiger in prone position, with beaming focused eyes and huge sniffing nostrils to scan the roads ahead, plus 21-inch "paws". :)
This is a hell-of-a-lot of gushing over a car with an unknown MSRP that will, based on BMWs history with EVs, likely be well north of $50K even in basic trim. Coupled with the high likelihood that BMW will require constant and expensive maintenance of this car it is going to be a non starter for many who are in the market for something like a $35,000 Tesla 3 that requires nothing more than cabin filters and brake fluid changes every 2-3 years for regular maintenance.

Weren't you griping that the Tesla 3 is a "$25K car being sold for $50K"? Will look forward to your brand agnostic take on the real pricing of the new BMW when it hits the streets in 2 or 3 years.
 

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This is a hell-of-a-lot of gushing over a car with an unknown MSRP that will, based on BMWs history with EVs, likely be well north of $50K even in basic trim. Coupled with the high likelihood that BMW will require constant and expensive maintenance of this car it is going to be a non starter for many who are in the market for something like a $35,000 Tesla 3 that requires nothing more than cabin filters and brake fluid changes every 2-3 years for regular maintenance.

Weren't you griping that the Tesla 3 is a "$25K car being sold for $50K"? Will look forward to your brand agnostic take on the real pricing of the new BMW when it hits the streets in 2 or 3 years.
My thinking is that for a car like i4 with this type of (supposedly) cutting edge tech, the buy-and-hold strategy is not preferred(as in any tech toys). That "intelligence panel" probably will cost several thousand to repair if punctured, although it can be possibly enclosed in metal casing/hardened plastic and such.

What this i4 does show is what a practical lidar/radar sensing system may look like, as compared to rooftop mounted test mules roaming local streets. That by itself may show some progress in FSD front. And frankly other manufacturers(e.g. Tesla) need to copy the same if the intent is to save drivers from crashing into [email protected]+ while using supposedly self-driving features.

As a potential buyer of a $25k EV that goes 200+ miles with standard driver assist tech(no FSD), having massive sensor arrays likely is not on top of my requirements.

And do recall my "dream" EV spec, 0-60 5-6 seconds, 3500lb, 500-mile range, F30 or G20 size, full charge in 15 minutes(or 150-miles+ in 5 minutes), 15-year/150000 miles 85-90% battery warranty(Tesla battery can achieve this already, right?), $35k-$40k out-the-door(preferably with tax+fee?) :p
 

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TCoupled with the high likelihood that BMW will require constant and expensive maintenance of this car it is going to be a non starter for many....
The assertion here is that a BMW EV requires constant and expensive maintenance compared to a Tesla EV. That appears to be not much complaints from i3 owners of such constant and expensive maintenance.

Is there any link to this type of complaints from i3 owners?
 

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The assertion here is that a BMW EV requires constant and expensive maintenance compared to a Tesla EV. That appears to be not much complaints from i3 owners of such constant and expensive maintenance.

Is there any link to this type of complaints from i3 owners?
I believe that BMW recommends annual inspection of i3, along with brake fluid flush change every 30K miles, brake pads every 60K miles, cabin filter every x miles, etc.

Based on BMW prices it's likely this service costs as much or more than Tesla who requires no scheduled maintenance on model 3 but recmds brake fluid every 2-3 years, new cabin filter occasionally, etc. The brake pads on the Model 3 are, in warmer climates, probably good for nearly the life of the car.

I will say that the i3 is probably cheaper to maintain after the first few years than other BMWs, at least until the batteries show serious signs of degradation which will happen more quickly with the BMW with its primitive battery tech than with the Tesla.

The bind BMW is in is that their dealers make the bulk of their profit on service and parts, not on sale of the vehicles. How is BMW going to sell low to zero maintenance cars out of dealerships when the owner won't need much if anything from the dealer for the first 5-10 years they own the car? Seems that BMW would have to increase what they pay the dealers to sell the cars such as a much bigger hold back, etc.
 

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Cut off your nose to spite your face literally?

:stickpoke:
Not really. There are plenty of choices out there. I love my BMW but the company has to recognize that good taste is a prerequisite for high end products. If this was a Camaro, then fine. I don't expect class from GM. But I do expect it from BMW and there are plenty of other car companies out there that will take my many thousands of dollars.
 

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I will say that the i3 is probably cheaper to maintain after the first few years than other BMWs, at least until the batteries show serious signs of degradation which will happen more quickly with the BMW with its primitive battery tech than with the Tesla.

The bind BMW is in is that their dealers make the bulk of their profit on service and parts, not on sale of the vehicles. How is BMW going to sell low to zero maintenance cars out of dealerships when the owner won't need much if anything from the dealer for the first 5-10 years they own the car? Seems that BMW would have to increase what they pay the dealers to sell the cars such as a much bigger hold back, etc.
It is likely by 2020/2021 BMW's battery tech will be improved upon previous gen i3, so it will be of interest to see if BMW can catch up to Tesla's battery tech. Do note the big 3 battery suppliers(and the 4th upcoming one) are open to everyone.

My impression is that a BMW EV versus a Tesla EV should have similar maintenance costs in terms of cabin filter, brakes, brake fluids.

The point of dealer P&L does make sense, my expectation of BMW EV(just like any EV) is minimal cost in 5-10 years. The difference is that BMW probably will be in no hurry to switch 100% to EV, and still has a huge fleet of PHEV and ICE to service, which means my $70 dealer oil change should still be available for a long while. :thumbup:
 

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Not really. There are plenty of choices out there. I love my BMW but the company has to recognize that good taste is a prerequisite for high end products. If this was a Camaro, then fine. I don't expect class from GM. But I do expect it from BMW and there are plenty of other car companies out there that will take my many thousands of dollars.
Good taste is subjective as usual.

What this i4 seems to imply is a new design language that attempts to speak cutting edge, which is what BMW tries to inject in buyer's minds.
 

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Coupled with the high likelihood that BMW will require constant and expensive maintenance of this car it is going to be a non starter for many who are in the market for something like a $35,000 Tesla 3 that requires nothing more than cabin filters and brake fluid changes every 2-3 years for regular maintenance.
Based on what are you saying this?


Lets look at reliability:

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-driving/which-car-brands-make-the-best-vehicles/

BMW with its hybrid cars with complex ICE engines is ahead of Tesla in reliability. Tesla only sells BEVs with simple architecture. It would be the very first in reliability if it had the same build quality as other cars.






As for Model 3 maintenance, there is one thing what Tesla recommends.
But there are other things that are highly recommended. For example taking apart the brakes once a year, clean and lube them and checking for loose or missing bolts in the suspension, chasing rattles etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h3W-0iWYvc



I will say that the i3 is probably cheaper to maintain after the first few years than other BMWs, at least until the batteries show serious signs of degradation which will happen more quickly with the BMW with its primitive battery tech than with the Tesla.
BMW i3 battery degradation is in line or better than Tesla.

The bind BMW is in is that their dealers make the bulk of their profit on service and parts, not on sale of the vehicles. How is BMW going to sell low to zero maintenance cars out of dealerships when the owner won't need much if anything from the dealer for the first 5-10 years they own the car? Seems that BMW would have to increase what they pay the dealers to sell the cars such as a much bigger hold back, etc.
They will figure it out.
 

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It is likely by 2020/2021 BMW's battery tech will be improved upon previous gen i3, so it will be of interest to see if BMW can catch up to Tesla's battery tech. Do note the big 3 battery suppliers(and the 4th upcoming one) are open to everyone.

BMW with its own battery chemistry has pretty good degradation results.



Insideevs guessed 4% degradation for their i3 at 69k mi.
Tesla Bjorn's test shows 10% degradation for a 22kWh i3 after 62k miles.

2014 BMW i3 22kWH
EPA hwy cycle: 102mi

2012 Tesla Model S 85D
EPA hwy cycle: 335mi


62k mi equals to 608 charge cycle based on the EPA hwy cycle above. Cycle number is most likely more since people drive faster than the EPA cycle, but this is a good reference.

608 charge cycle for the Model S based on the EPA hwy cycle ratio above means 608*335 = 204k mi.



There aren't many capacity tests with 200k mi Teslas so I can't give the exact example but here are some from Bjorn:

Model X P90D 47k mi degradation: 6%
Model X P90D 62k mi degradation: 8%
Model S 85 62k mi degradation: 4%
 

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BMW with its own battery chemistry has pretty good degradation results.



Insideevs guessed 4% degradation for their i3 at 69k mi.
Tesla Bjorn's test shows 10% degradation for a 22kWh i3 after 62k miles.

2014 BMW i3 22kWH
EPA hwy cycle: 102mi

2012 Tesla Model S 85D
EPA hwy cycle: 335mi


62k mi equals to 608 charge cycle based on the EPA hwy cycle above. Cycle number is most likely more since people drive faster than the EPA cycle, but this is a good reference.

608 charge cycle for the Model S based on the EPA hwy cycle ratio above means 608*335 = 204k mi.



There aren't many capacity tests with 200k mi Teslas so I can't give the exact example but here are some from Bjorn:

Model X P90D 47k mi degradation: 6%
Model X P90D 62k mi degradation: 8%
Model S 85 62k mi degradation: 4%
Google search found this, so is this BMW battery production plant open now?

https://newatlas.com/bmw-200-million-battery-cell-competence/52370/
 

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Google search found this, so is this BMW battery production plant open now?

https://newatlas.com/bmw-200-million-battery-cell-competence/52370/
It's open. But they have been researching batteries since 2008. BMW develops the chemistry and gives the recipe to cell manufacturers.

"BMW didn’t buy off-the-shelf battery cells for the i3, but developed the technology and format itself and then worked with a supplier to ready it for series production. "

https://www.electrive.com/2019/11/14/bmw-opens-battery-competence-centre-in-munich/
 

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It's open. But they have been researching batteries since 2008. BMW develops the chemistry and gives the recipe to cell manufacturers.

"BMW didn’t buy off-the-shelf battery cells for the i3, but developed the technology and format itself and then worked with a supplier to ready it for series production. "

https://www.electrive.com/2019/11/14/bmw-opens-battery-competence-centre-in-munich/
That is very cool. Is BMW's cell chemistry better than Panasonic?

The big 3 battery suppliers(and 4th wannabe) have very deep pockets and very steep technical moats, how does BMW do differently to stand tall among competitors?
 

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That is very cool. Is BMW's cell chemistry better than Panasonic?

The big 3 battery suppliers(and 4th wannabe) have very deep pockets and very steep technical moats, how does BMW do differently to stand tall among competitors?
BMW's NMC and Panasonic's NCA (used in Teslas) have different properties.

NMC is safer but has slightly less energy density
NCA catches on fire more easily but has higher energy density

so how can one say this or that is better? I always vote for safety over vehicle efficiency (reduced weight) and cost.

People think Tesla's go farther because of their battery tech. But that's just not true. First of all, lots of recent EVs match the consumption of Teslas, second battery is just an energy storage device. If one puts 80kWh battery in the car, it is 80kWh of energy. Doesn't matter which chemistry. Battery chemistry only has a slight effect regarding efficiency through the weight of the car. But very little effect. Let's say one saves 10% of battery weight. That's 100lbs of a 1000lbs battery. Car weights 4000lbs. 100/4000 = 2.5% weight reduction. That makes almost no effect on the EV's highway range. It will have a slight effect on city range (but who cares about range in a city?)

Li ion battery research is an interesting area. thousand labs are researching it for decades yet there is not much progress. There is the basic material, let's say NMC. Then there are the additives.
The additives change the properties a lot! And researchers just go by experience. They don't understand why adding this or that additive makes the performance better. All they know is if they add this or that, things get better.
Some labs have reached excellent results with additives. But it comes with price. So the car maker has to decide which additives they want to pay for.

This becomes a balancing of ingredients vs costs instead of who can make the best battery.

And as long as we stay with NMC, NCA or NMCA things won't change much. 10-20% improvement won't make cars suddenly much lighter. For a big breakthrough some different solution is needed.
Like LiS batteries or solid state or something
 

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BMW's NMC and Panasonic's NCA (used in Teslas) have different properties.

NMC is safer but has slightly less energy density
NCA catches on fire more easily but has higher energy density

so how can one say this or that is better? I always vote for safety over vehicle efficiency (reduced weight) and cost.

People think Tesla's go farther because of their battery tech. But that's just not true. First of all, lots of recent EVs match the consumption of Teslas, second battery is just an energy storage device. If one puts 80kWh battery in the car, it is 80kWh of energy. Doesn't matter which chemistry. Battery chemistry only has a slight effect regarding efficiency through the weight of the car. But very little effect. Let's say one saves 10% of battery weight. That's 100lbs of a 1000lbs battery. Car weights 4000lbs. 100/4000 = 2.5% weight reduction. That makes almost no effect on the EV's highway range. It will have a slight effect on city range (but who cares about range in a city?)

Li ion battery research is an interesting area. thousand labs are researching it for decades yet there is not much progress. There is the basic material, let's say NMC. Then there are the additives.
The additives change the properties a lot! And researchers just go by experience. They don't understand why adding this or that additive makes the performance better. All they know is if they add this or that, things get better.
Some labs have reached excellent results with additives. But it comes with price. So the car maker has to decide which additives they want to pay for.

This becomes a balancing of ingredients vs costs instead of who can make the best battery.

And as long as we stay with NMC, NCA or NMCA things won't change much. 10-20% improvement won't make cars suddenly much lighter. For a big breakthrough some different solution is needed.
Like LiS batteries or solid state or something
"Lots of recent EVs match the consumption of Teslas"? Can you please cite the cars in a similar class that match the Teslas, or even come close on a watt hour per mile basis? For that matter, can you cite the EVs of any class that can match a Tesla Model 3? A couple of the Hyundais are the closest, but I wouldn't say that they are a comparable class of car and they're still not quite as efficient as the Teslas. All of the EVs from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, and Porsche are much, much less efficient.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/topten.jsp

I don't think anyone has a big edge when it comes to battery chemistry, and that includes Tesla, Tesla's advantages are in their battery packaging and management, and their extremely efficient components and designs.
 
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