BMW i3 – Winner of the Electric Vehicle Popularity Contest? BMW Car Tuning

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW i3 – Winner of the Electric Vehicle Popularity Contest? BMW Car Tuning отключены
BMW i3 Electric Cars

BMW i3 – Winner of the Electric Vehicle Popularity Contest?

The new BMW i3 is unlike any other current BMW on sale. It is, along with the new, hybrid i8, a novel venture by BMW into the electric vehicle (EV) market.

The i3 maintains BMW’s rear-wheel drive tradition but instead of the M-powered brutishness of a V8 under the bonnet, there is a 168bhp electric motor that generates an amazing amount of torque; 184lb-ft of torque to be exact, which produces instant power without the lag of a turbo.

The i3 is revolutionary because it aims to smash its competitors, in terms of power outage, range and value for money. While not entirely obvious, the i3’s competitors consists primarily of the Nissan Leaf, which is a small, 5-door, family hatchback and the Renault Zoe.

BMW i3

Firstly, the Nissan Leaf is the most popular electrical, common-use vehicle in the world today. By the middle of 2014, Nissan will have sold over 100,000 Leafs globally making it the highest volume electrical vehicle in the world. In terms of fracturing the market, Nissan’s rivals have a lot of catching up to do.

However, it is possible that both Renault and BMW have somewhat caused a few waves in that sense; both the Zoe and i3 offer more power output from their electrical motors while also matching the acclaimed ranges of between 90-125 miles if driven ‘frugally’. The i3 also comes with the option of a range extender that could at least double the range of the all-electric version to anywhere between 150-180 miles.

BMW i3 Interior

There are certain factors that seem to make the i3 a better choice than its rivals. The aforementioned range extender option, which includes a 650cc motorbike engine and 9-litre fuel tank practically, doubles the all-electric range of the BMW i3 from 80 miles to 150-180 miles.

The engine regenerates electricity by maintaining (not increasing) the charge in the i3’s battery when the level gets to a certain low point. This, however, does come at a cost. The all-electric version of the i3 has an RRP of £30,680 while the range extending option increases that by as much as £3,000 to £33,380.

However, BMW currently employ a Government-incentivised £5,000 EV grant that is taken off the price when you buy an i3, which reduces the range extender option to £28,830.

However, it still seems that ordinary road users are priced out of buying one and could mean you are a paying an enormous amount for a car that has a limited range albeit included with no road tax because of zero-emissions and little to no refuelling costs.

Both the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe have the BMW beat for affordability in the showroom with the base models available from around £13,000 that amounts to a potential £17,000 saving on the BMW.

BMW i3 Electric Cars

BMW i3 iDrive

In terms of practicality, the Leaf offers the as much as that of a family-sized hatchback but this means it carries more weight and thus puts more pressure on its electrical motor where it particularly struggles on the motorway at cruising speeds.

The Renault and the BMW have the same problem at cruising speeds but for around town they are superb alternatives because they are simply considered better to drive and sharper than the Nissan. Standard equipment levels are also higher on both cars than the Nissan that make them more attractive in terms of value for money.

BMW currently have a waiting list of up to 6 months for the i3 with over 10,000 orders taken globally by January 2014, which displays the popularity of the i3 and BMW branding.

BMW i3


People will buy the i3 because of the strength of what owning a BMW means; German engineering and solid car building as well as a premium feel. The Renault is cheaper and a solid car albeit with the problems that plague all EV’s, notably the range, however, the popularity of BMW’s in general help ease the burden on the Germans in entering the EV market.

This post was written by Tom Howell, keen blogger and Audi enthusiast working at Contract Hire A Car .

BMW i3 Electric Cars
BMW i3 Electric Cars
BMW i3 Electric Cars

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