BMW& s First True Electric Car Is Here Popular Science

23 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW& s First True Electric Car Is Here Popular Science отключены
BMW 5er Electric Cars

BMW s First True Electric Car Is Here

The former concept i3 has been made real, and might be the most interesting electric vehicle we’ve seen in years.

The BMW i3

BMW isn’t entirely new to electric vehicles, or EVs; the company has been testing an electric Mini Cooper for awhile now, and we actually wrote about the i3 two years back. when it seemed like just a concept. But now the i3 is officially seeing a release, and it’s the first BMW that was designed from the ground up to be an electric car. The benefits are pretty obvious: it’s the lightest EV out there, with one of the quickest charging times and excellent performance.

And it looks pretty weird, just like an electric vehicle should.

The i3 is small, shaped like a hatchback, but it’s got four doors, unlike the classic Mini Cooper. The rear doors are …-style, with the hinge at the rear of the car rather than the middle. The motor is mounted in the back, like an old VW Beetle, and there’s no transmission column at all.

Who needs one? That means the floor is completely flat, even right down the middle, where the transmission tunnel usually is.

BMW 5er Electric Cars

The BMW i3 Dashboard

BMW also took a big leap with the materials, constructing the main chassis from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. EVs are typically limited in power and have to lug along lots of batteries, which are super heavy, so it makes sense to lighten the load elsewhere. This reinforced plastic is, according to BMW, just as strong as steel or aluminum, but 50 percent lighter than the former and 30 percent lighter than the latter.

The interior materials too are sustainable, with recycled plastic, sustainable woods, and trim from a plant we’d never heard of: the kenaf plant. (Kenaf is a plant in the hibiscus family that looks sort of like bamboo and is used to make super strong, super cheap woven material, sort of like burlap. But you can also process and then harden the pulp, which looks like hardwood and doesn’t require the chopping down of rare slow-growing hardwood trees.)


Under the hood, so to speak, it’s got a 170hp engine delivering 184 pound-feet of torque. The lithium-ion battery delivers 22 kWh, which BMW says will give you a range of about 80-100 miles per charge. For comparison, the Chevy Volt’s all-electric range is about 25-50 miles, though it supplements that with gas, and the Nissan Leaf has tested anywhere from about 60 to about 120 miles, though the average is probably closer to 60. The i3 will go from 0-60 in under 7 seconds, which is about average for an EV.

More important is the charging time, which BMW says is only three hours over a 220-volt line, thanks to a charger that’s the largest of any EV on the road. Using a fast charger like the Combo. BMW says that time can be shortened to 30 minutes.

BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars

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