BMW Tips i3 Electric Car Price at Roughly $40,000
May 7, 2013 9:16 AM
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i3 EV will cost about the same as a nice 3-Series
BMW debuted the new
i3 coupe at the LA auto show late last year
. The automaker has now announced that the car will be priced at approximately $40,000 when it goes into production later this year, making it roughly the same price as the company's incredibly popular 3-Series sedan.
The tip on pricing for the electric vehicle comes via BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch. The CEO says that BMW [obviously] does not expect the electric car to be a volume model.
BMW will offer an optional two-cylinder 0.65-liter gasoline motorcycle engine and an auxiliary generator to charge the battery pack. That would make it somewhat
similar to the Chevrolet Volt in operation
The “green” BMW EV is expected to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. BMW also notes that it is currently waiting to hear from federal regulators if buyers who purchase the range-extended version featuring the optional engine will be able to get the $7,500 tax credit as well.
BMW is set to establish a program that will allow buyers of the pure electric vehicle to borrow a gasoline or diesel vehicle for longer trips. He did say that details are unclear at this point but the service will be offered "as an additional mobility package."
BMW currently expects most of it US dealer network, consisting 338 locations, to sell the i3 and the
i8 hybrid sports car
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RE: It is not electric
5/7/2013 1:12:39 PM
Think about the physics here. The engine is running creating mechanical energy. Instead of putting it directly to use as mechanical energy, the car is going to convert it to electricity (10-15% loss) and then back to mechanical energy (another 10-15% loss).
RE: It is not electric
5/7/2013 2:41:54 PM
Whether that's good or bad really depends on what the car is doing. Remember, the ~30% engine efficiency is only true for a specific RPM and specific load. If the RPM or gearing or incline/decline deviates from the optimal, the engine efficiency will be worse.
In that case, the conversion losses from an engine operating 100% of the time at its most efficient RPM and loading to charge a battery, may be smaller than the reduced efficiency of an engine spending most of its time at non-optimal RPM, gearing, and loading.
RE: It is not electric
5/7/2013 4:09:54 PM
The planetary gearing allows the engine to stay at its optimal RPM, regardless of vehicle speed. However it doesn't do that to generate electricity or I should say that's not its primary goal. As much of the engine power as possible must be sent to the wheels to achieve a high mpg, the leftover is sent to the generator.
The way they need to balance electric load on the generator, torque to the motor to keep the engine in its highest efficiency is an insane engineering feat. I'm surprised it ever made it past the whiteboard.
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