Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BMW i3 Electric Vehicle

Wired reports: [edited]

BMW has finally made a real EV. It’s not another retrofit hack-job that stuffs an electric motor and battery pack into car that was never intended for electrification. It’s been designed from the ground up to serve two purposes: electrify the automaker and stay true to the Ultimate Driving Machine tagline.

This is the BMW i3 and it’s the most innovative thing to come out of Munich in a decade.

First, the stats. The i3 is packing a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack good for a claimed range of between 80 and 100 miles — on par with the majority of new EVs on sale. Charging takes three hours over a 220-volt line and into a massive 7.4 kW on-board charger, one of the largest on the market. BMW claims that charge time can be reduced to 30 minutes using an optional DC Combo Fast Charging setup.

In proper BMW fashion, 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque is delivered to the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission. And that hybrid-synchronous electric motor mounted out back revs out to a (silently) screaming 11,400 RPM. BMW claims the i3 will go from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive seven seconds, and maxes out at an electronically limited 93 MPH for ultimate efficiency. And just like every BMW on the road, it has a perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution which provides that phenomenal handling that solidified BMW’s reputation as a driver’s brand.

But despite all those stats, one number stands out: 2,700 pounds. That’s the i3′s curb weight, making it one of the lightest electric vehicles on the market.

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