The Future of Urban Mobility
The all-electric BMW i3 is a marvel of lightweight aerodynamic design and electric efficiency. With this new i3 electric vehicle (EV), BMW is making it clear that they are serious about designing and building cars for the future.
Taking the i3 on a test drive proved to be an “electrifying” driving experience. With the power to reach 60 mph in just under 7 seconds, it was phenomenal to actually feel the swiftness of the i3’s capabilities in nearly silent driving conditions, due to the innovative BMW eDrive. Astonishing.
1. LifeDrive Architecture
BMW LifeDrive is revolutionizing automotive engineering with the first vehicle architecture to be created especially for electric cars.
The i3 is comprised of two separate units: the Life module passenger cell made of carbon fiber called Resin Transfer Molding that’s 50 percent lighter than steel and almost 30 percent lighter than aluminum and is produced in Washington state.
The Drive module includes the suspension and drive components and a high-voltage battery. Keeping the mechanicals and the batteries low down imbues the i3 with a low center of gravity that not only pays dividends with regard to its handling, this revolutionary design means there is no tunnel running through the middle of the car, leaving a flat floor and plenty of room for four passengers who sit up as high as an SUV.
2. BMW eDrive
This innovative technology has three key features that deliver an unequalled emission-free driving experience, all at the push of an ignition button, no key is required. The entire torque of the electric motor is available virtually from a standing start, and uninterrupted acceleration is maintained up to the maximum speed of 0-60 in 7 seconds. The ultra-powerful high-voltage battery with a cooling system keeps the battery at the ideal operating temperature.
The intelligent energy management system coordinates interaction between the electric motor and the high-voltage battery for maximum performance with minimum consumption. Regenerative braking mediated by one-pedal driving extends the car’s range, on average 70-120 miles and with the optional range extender, an additional 50+ miles.
3. Design Philosophy
The BMW i3 clearly signals to people that you’re driving something different.
Its body, despite the compact external dimensions is about the same size as the BMW 1-series.
The i3 is sustainable from beginning to end and front to rear. Using only high quality sustainable products, the vehicle is 95% recyclable, its parts are made from recycled plastics and the wood trim is from renewable eucalyptus wood and wool and leather are also used throughout, making the i3’s interior just as forward-thinking as its drive train.
Information is presented on a pair of screens, one in front of the driver showing speed and range, and one in the middle of the dash for navigation, infotainment, and vehicle status.
There are plenty of cubbies and cupholders, plus a USB port and a 12v outlet for recharging.
The i3 interior offers roominess comparable to the best-selling 3-series and the quality of materials and luxury features are comparable to the 5-series.