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It will be released in the U.S. during Q2 2014

BMW announced today that the electric i3 will go on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014.

The BMW i3 will have an abundance of features, such as three trim levels (Mega, Giga and Tera). It will also sport a 22-kilowatt, 450-pound lithium ion battery, which will provide power to a rear-mounted electric motor. The i3 packs 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, allowing the single-gear i3 to accelerate from 0-30 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and 0-60 mph in about 7.0 seconds. However, its top speed is 93 MPH. 


The i3 has an electric range of 80-100 miles, and the battery can be charged with a standard system in about three hours. For those who need faster charging, there's the SAE DC Combo Fast Charger for a full charge in only 30 minutes. An optional 34-hp, 650cc two-cylinder generator can be added for additional range. 

The EV will also offer its LifeDrive architecture, which is the overall design of the vehicle through the Life Module and the Drive Module. The Life Module is the first mass-produced monocoque made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), and it's 30 percent lighter than aluminum for an overall weight of 2,700 pounds. The Drive Module, on the other hand, is an aluminum chassis placed under the Life Module, and it contains parts like the battery. 


"The new all-electric BMW i3 is a landmark in BMW's mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker," said BMW. "The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand, and is a truly purpose built electric car. It's a new era for electro mobility at BMW."

The i3 will have a price tag of $41,350 when released in the U.S. during Q2 2014. 

Source: BMW



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optional generator is unique
By Nutzo on 7/29/2013 6:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Only thing I find interesting is the optional generator.

I believe this is the 1st electric car with this option, as it only charges the battery. All the other Hybrids (including plugins) have a full Ice/transmission to allow the gas engine to drive the wheels.

This car is electric drive only.

A 34 HP generator should put out around 20KW, which should be almost enough to keep the car running at highway speeds.

Wonder how large the gas tank is?




RE: optional generator is unique
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: optional generator is unique
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/29/2013 6:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
Correction -- Volt can drive the wheels via clutch when needed.


RE: optional generator is unique
By Spuke on 7/29/2013 6:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wonder how large the gas tank is?
2 gallons.


RE: optional generator is unique
By GulWestfale on 7/29/2013 8:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
what is a bit strange is that the engine is from the c650 scooter, where it makes 60hp. why only 34hp here? can anyone explain that?


RE: optional generator is unique
By Keeir on 7/29/2013 9:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
#1. Efficieny. The engine is likely fairly inefficient above 34 hp. If you only have 2 gallons of gasoline, do you really want the ability to burn through it quickly?

#2. Noise and Vibration. Higher RPMs probably make a decent racket. On a scooter, this is easy to ignore with wind rush and the natural expectation of heavy noise. In a nearly silent EV? hmmm.

#3. I am unsure if its 34 hp at the motor or 34 hp from the generator. There is some losses after all.


RE: optional generator is unique
By Dorkyman on 7/30/2013 11:24:25 AM , Rating: 2
My guess is that it's mostly a noise issue. A lot easier making an engine quiet at half redline than it is at redline.


By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 7/30/2013 4:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
They're quoting 80-100 miles range on a 2.8 gallon tank. That's between 28-35mpg, which is pretty pathetic!

And the battery weight budget in a Tesla would be more like 35-40kWh.

I'm rather disappointed in this i3 :(


RE: optional generator is unique
By BRB29 on 7/30/2013 9:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
what is a bit strange is that the engine is from the c650 scooter, where it makes 60hp. why only 34hp here? can anyone explain that?


Since it's an add on option, I'm betting the engine only runs at 1 specific rpm optimized for efficiency. Its max hp is probably 60hp or more but they can only list what is usable. Which means it is 34hp at that specific rpm and the only mode that engine runs on.


RE: optional generator is unique
By Jeffk464 on 7/30/2013 11:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
The better question is why build a scooter with 60hp, thats motorcycle territory.


RE: optional generator is unique
By Reflex on 7/29/2013 6:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think the Volt does this as well, but with a much smaller battery.


RE: optional generator is unique
By toffty on 7/29/2013 7:08:09 PM , Rating: 3
Kind of.

The Volt is a complicated serial/parallel hybrid. The ICE is not always connected to the drive train and can be used to only generate power to charge the battery/drive the motors (serial like i3 + generator) but it can be connected to the drive train to add more power to the wheels (parallel like the Prius).


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