BMW i3

BMW i3

The BMW i3 is an electric car of the automobile manufacturer BMW. It is part of the newly founded in 2010, BMW i sub and the first mass-produced car with a passenger cell made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).

It is powered by an electric motor with 125 kW ( 170 hp). The range in the standardized driving cycle is 190 km.

Optionally, a gasoline -powered range extender with 25 kW ( 34 hp ) is to increase the range available. During its use, the drive operates on the principle of a serial hybrid drive.

Production began in September 2013 at the BMW plant in Leipzig, the sale started in Germany on 16 November 2013.

  • 4.1 Concept Car


The BMW i3 is about 4 meters long and has four seats. It consists of a chassis made ​​of aluminum and a passenger cell made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). This combination of materials reduces the weight of the body over an all-steel body, so that the total weight of the vehicle, despite the heavy traction battery is on par with similar vehicles with internal combustion engine. The outer skin is made with the exception of the roof from the thermoplastic elastomer (PP / EPDM). 25 percent of the thermoplastic external parts are made from renewable resources or have been recycled. The roof is made of recycled CFRP. Instrument panel and door panels are made from natural fibers.

The vehicle has a 260 -liter boot that can be expanded by folding down the rear seat back to a flat load floor with 1100 liters cargo volume. In addition, there is the front of the vehicle under the front flap, another small storage space. Since no engine exists, the cooling air must be supplied to the BMW kidney is fully closed, depending on the exterior color she is also highlighted by a touch of color in blue or gray.

Due to the installation of the batteries under the floor of the BMW i3 is relatively high, but has a low center of gravity. The seating position is about the in an SUV. The vehicle has no B-pillar, but so-called portal doors, the front doors of the BMW i3 are significantly larger than the rear. The belts for the front passenger are attached to the rear doors.

In the interior, no center console is present below the dashboard, which means a relatively large amount of legroom for the front passengers. The gear selector lever is constructed as a rotary knob and is fixed to the steering column. The front seats and the steering column is adjustable. On the dashboard there are two displays, one in the middle, the other in front of the driver. The operation is done mainly via a central rotary pushbutton switch ( iDrive ). In addition, in the middle of the dashboard some buttons for radio and air conditioning are provided.


Electric motor and driving performance

The electric motor for driving was developed by BMW itself and weighs about 50 kg. It has been installed on the driver's side, below the trunk floor, above the rear axle. It is a hybrid synchronous motor with a peak output of 125 kW ( 170 hp) and a torque of 250 Nm. It is driven by a single-stage gear reduction to the rear wheels.

The maximum speed of the vehicle is limited to 150 km / h from 0 to 100 km / h the car accelerates in 7.2 seconds. The average energy consumption in the driving cycle is 12.9 kWh per 100 km. The range is thus about 130 to 160 km, amount to a " Eco Pro " called energy saving mode around 200 km.

Range Extender

Optionally, a gasoline -powered range extender will be available from 2014. As such, serves a water- cooled two -cylinder engine of 647 cc displacement from a nominal power of 25 kW (34 hp) and a maximum torque of 55 Nm, each at a speed of 4300/min generated. The two cylinders have a bore of 79 mm diameter, the piston has a stroke of 66 mm and a compression ratio of 11,6:1. The cylinder head has two chain transmission, overhead camshafts, which drive bucket tappets two intake and two exhaust valves per cylinder. The same engine is used in a more powerful version since 2012 in the scooter BMW C 650 GT and BMW C 600 Sport.

If required, the range extender charges the battery via a generator and extends with its 9-liter tank, the range of about 120-150 km. The tank is housed in the front portion of the vehicle. The Range Extender can be started manually. It automatically start if the state of charge of the battery falls below a certain threshold and is only charging the battery. In this driving mode, the power of the electric motor is electronically limited. The Range Extender is designed primarily to be able to reach the nearest electric charging station safely. The surcharge for the range extension is 4500 euros.

Battery and Charging

As traction battery 96 large-format lithium -ion rechargeable battery cells in 8 modules are installed with a nominal voltage of 360 volts from suppliers Samsung SDI, which have an energy content of 21.6 kWh, of which 18.8 kWh are available in the vehicle. The battery is installed in the floor of the vehicle among the passengers.

While charging with the help of the standard ICCB charging cable with a normal household 230 - volt outlet takes 6 to 8 hours, this time can be shortened by using a wallbox available as accessories up to 30 %. The charge is carried out with a maximum of 4.6 kW single-phase, which requires a fused with 20 A 230 V connection.

A DC high-speed charge at a power of 50 kW to 80 % takes less than 30 minutes.

The in-vehicle charging socket is listed under the Combined Charging System. It contains the charging socket type 2 This was introduced by the EU as a single standard plug for electric vehicles.

In collaboration with Vattenfall, BMW plans to use traction batteries worn in " Second Life ". BMW and Vattenfall test in late 2013 in Hamburg's HafenCity, as worn-out battery storage could continue to be used in electric vehicles, such as a power buffer for fast - charging stations that relieve the mains.

Body material CFRP

CFRP is used among other things in motorsport and for rotor blades of wind turbines. The problem is that carbon fiber reinforced plastic moment is still several times more expensive than steel. While other manufacturers rely on conventional materials, BMW wants to reduce the cost of parts made of CFRP by mass production to one tenth.

The company SGL Carbon, which emerged from the chemical giant Hoechst, the fibers produced in a factory in Moses Lake in Washington state, where energy costs are low.

In the Upper Palatinate Wackersdorf the clutches are produced; it used to be warehouses of the former site of the WAA; be on 7500 sqm this four knitting machines work.

However, the use of CFRP as a material body in series production for the i3 is not new at BMW: the BMW plant in Landshut 2010 presses are already used to manufacture the CFRP roofs for the BMW M3 for the year. With an investment of 40 million euros are to be operated in the future three large presses that produce from the resin-impregnated Located at 100 ° C within ten minutes of body parts. Until now closed furnaces with temperatures of 500 ° C and several hours were required to. The innovation concerns the composition of the resin and the greater pressure.


To minimize the rolling resistance, the BMW i3 is equipped with quite large but narrow tires. As standard, the deliveries with the tire size: 155/70 R19. The version with Range Extender is fitted with wider tires on the rear axle. Optional 20-inch wheels are available for both versions.


Development and sales

The BMW i3 has emerged from the project " Megacity Vehicle " (MCV ) of BMW and SGL Carbon to reduce the weight of future cars. The concept vehicle BMW i3 Concept was first shown to the public at the IAA 2011. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said in September 2011 that he wanted the new i3 electric car manufactured in large series and bring at an affordable price on the market: " The i3 is cheaper than a BMW 5 Series ," says Reithofer. The concept car was presented with deep glazed doors that were not incorporated into series production. The introduction of the production version took place on 29 July 2013. Production in Leipzig began on 18 September 2013. BMW brings the electric small car in Germany in four different interior versions studio, loft, Lodge and Suite from 34.950 Euro to the market.

The vehicles are sold under the sub-brand BMW i, the project is also a " BMW i8 " is created called hybrid sports car. Sales are handled by 33 BMW partners and 14 offices that were selected directly from BMW and get special contracts. For repairs of accidental damage to the new bodies three carbon centers are planned in Germany.

In the U.S. market launch for the second quarter of 2014 is provided.



Front view

Electric Test Vehicle

Electric Test Vehicle

Electric Test Vehicle

Concept car

BMW i3 Concept Side View

BMW i3 Concept Front

BMW i3 Concept with open doors and tailgate

BMW i3 Concept side view with open doors ( suicide door design )

BMW i3 Concept tailgate with a charging plug type 2