The BMW i3 has been leading a new era of mobility since November 2013: an era of sustainability, driving fun and intelligent connectivity. For more than six years, the BMW i3 has been a key contributor to electromobility’s growing attractiveness.
During this time, the BMW i3 has established itself as a pioneer in sustainable mobility and has been the top-selling electric vehicle in the premium compact segment since its launch. Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship, the BMW i3 has acquired the status of an icon. For this reason, the BMW Group will continue to further develop this vehicle and currently plans to extend production until 2024.
After driving 277,000 kilometres, customers can confirm this trend. “The vehicle concept of the BMW i3 is unique,” says Helmut Neumann, a customer from the town of Titz in Germany. “It looks so modern from the outside that people still turn around to catch a glimpse of it.” As well as environmental and aesthetic aspects, an analysis by the German Automobile Club (ADAC) also found that there are strong economic arguments for the electric car. In a comparison of total costs, the BMW i3 came out around 20 percent cheaper than a BMW of comparable size and performance with a combustion engine. The experience of customers who bought a BMW i3 in the early years of production has also shown that the attainable range only decreases minimally – even in vehicles with the original battery and high mileage.
The BMW Group’s high expectations for its high-voltage battery have been confirmed by the car’s consistent range. So far, not a single BMW i3 high-voltage battery has had to be replaced due to premature ageing. The eight-year warranty has now been extended to cover a maximum mileage of 160,000 kilometres. The BMW Group has also developed solutions for second use of batteries no longer suitable for high automotive demands. On the grounds of BMW Plant Leipzig, for instance, high-voltage batteries from pre-production vehicles and customers’ BMW i3 taking part in the retrofit programme provide storage for the green electricity produced on site by its wind turbines.
The driving pleasure experienced with the BMW i3 also has a lasting impact. Ever after years of pure electric driving, customers are still enthusiastic about the electric motor's immediate response and the one-pedal feeling that allows them to slow down their car through regenerative braking. “In the past, I have also tested other electric vehicles, also larger and faster ones,” says Rob van Roon from The Netherlands, “but none of them was as agile and easy to handle as the BMW i3.” “Charging doesn’t necessarily mean waiting,” he adds, “I spend the time doing administrative work or making phone calls, which demands my full attention.” For longer trips, he has discovered the benefits of Ionity’s ultra-fast charging stations, which can already be found at around 200 service areas along Europe’s main long-distance routes. He has realised that: “If you can eat there, you can charge your car there.” Van Roon and his family have already taken their BMW i3 on trips to Norway’s North Cape, the Algarve and Sicily.
The BMW i3 is more than just an electric car. The customer satisfaction, sustainability and driving pleasure that are its characteristic features ensure that the BMW i3 is rightly seen as a pioneer.
Emission-free mobility will not be enough to change the world. That’s one of the reasons why the BMW Group developed its first wholly sustainable series-production vehicle, the BMW i3. This pioneering work “demanded a totally new way of thinking from all of us”, explains Daniela Bohlinger, who promotes sustainability at all BMW Group design brand studios.
THE BMW I HYDROGEN NEXT. OUR FUEL CELL DEVELOPMENT VEHICLE.
With the unveiling of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), the BMW Group is demonstrating its ability to complement its electrified vehicle portfolio with the deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology.
HOW THE BATTERY CELL OF THE FUTURE IS TAKING SHAPE.
The BMW Group has been producing high-voltage batteries for our fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for a long time. We have also been focusing a great deal on battery cells for over 10 years, to ensure we have the same level of knowledge as established cell manufacturers. This article explains the difference between a battery cell and a high-voltage battery, and outlines the six steps that go into building battery cell prototypes at our new Battery Cell Competence Centre. We have pooled all our knowledge and know-how in this area at this one location.