Monday, May 16, 2011

Electric BMW i3 to Start at $35K, Have 150 HP and 160-Mile Range

Electric BMW i3 to Start at $35K, Have 150 HP and 160-Mile Range: "

BMW i3 Rendering

You’ve no doubt by now heard about BMW’s i3 electric city car. The tiny runabout, which will have a rear-mounted electric motor and batteries located under the floor, has been somewhat of a hot topic among both greenies and fans of the roundel. To the conversation we now add pricing and power information, thanks to a deep inside source in M√ľnchen. The base sticker will be around $35,000 and the car will boast 150 fully electric hp.

Those looking to add an i3 to their stable also can expect a 160-mile range, as well as a 100-mph top speed. Luggage room is said to be an unusually capacious 14.1 cubic feet, split between the space behind the rear seats and the “frunk” under the hood.

BMW plans on cranking out 40,000 units per year from the new Leipzig line built just for “i” vehicles, a big number considering the large amount of carbon fiber that is planned for the i3: The car’s passenger cell will be made from the stuff. A possible wrench in BMW’s plans is the relatively recent eight-percent ownership taken in SGL—BMW’s partners in developing its carbon-fiber tech—by none other than Volkswagen Group. Talk about awkward.

More details: The technique for mounting the floor-located pancake battery has been borrowed from the Rolls-Royce 102EX (read our first drive of that all-electric behemoth here), which says a lot for the cooperation among BMW Group brands. In conjunction with the whole “i” sub-brand and BMW’s urban-planning initiatives, the Bavarians are working hot and heavy with Siemens on the advanced stages of a 3.6-kWh wireless recharging network to be rolled out this upcoming June starting in Berlin. It will then spread worldwide to whichever markets aren’t too scared about recharging things via voodoo magic, er, wireless electricity.

Rendering by Christian Schulte


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