|Also called||BMW Mega City Vehicle|
|Electric motor||130 kW (170 hp)|
|Battery||22 kWh lithium-ion battery|
|Range||130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) (BMW)|
|Wheelbase||2,600 mm (101 in)|
|Length||3,800 mm (151 in)|
|Width||2,000 mm (79 in)|
|Height||1,500 mm (60 in)|
The BMW i3, previously Mega City Vehicle (MCV), is an urban electric car under development by BMW. The i3 is part of BMW's "Project i" and is being launched as a new brand, BMW i. The BMW i3 is scheduled to go into mass production in 2013 with deliveries in several world markets in November 2013. The i3 concept car was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and BMW announced the electric car will have a “REx” range extender option. BMW showcased a BMW i3 prototype during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The i3 will be BMW's first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle due to its electric powertrain, and BMW also expects to be the first company to launch a volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber reinforced plastic to improve the vehicle's energy consumption. Pricing in the European market starts at €40,000 (US$52,000) for the all-electric version, and the range-extender option costs an additional €3,000 (US$4,000).
Project i 
BMW's "Project i" is a program aimed to develop a lightweight eco-friendly urban electric car designed to address the mobility and sustainability needs for people who live in megacities. According to BMW, "Project i" has three phases. The Mini E demonstration was the first phase of this project, and it was followed by a similar field testing that began in January 2012 with the BMW ActiveE all-electric vehicle. The ActiveE is based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe and is built based on the lessons learned from the Mini E trial. The last phase of "Project i" is the development of the i3 and i8 electric cars.
The automaker expects that its first series production all-electric drive vehicle will contribute to achieve an overall fleet fuel economy average of 6.63 L/100 km (35.5 mpg) by 2016, as mandated by the U.S. federal regulations. BMW expects high volume sales of the i3 to allow the company to continue selling in the U.S. several of its high-performance cars which have a low fuel economy.
In February 2011 BMW announced a new sub-brand, BMW i, for the commercialization of the vehicles produced under Project i, and its vehicles will be sold separately from BMW or Mini. The first two production models will be the battery electric Mega City Vehicle, now called BMW i3, and a plug-in hybrid called i8, which is the production version of the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and has an all-electric range of 50 kilometres (31 mi). Production of both plug-in electric cars is scheduled to start in Leipzig in 2013.
BMW unveiled the i3 Concept Coupé study at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The carmaker developed the concept car to demonstrate the potential for conceivably extending the model range. The three-door coupe, like the five-door i3 electric sedan, is propelled by an electric motor developed by the BMW Group, with a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). Power delivery to the rear wheels is via a single-speed transmission. The li-ion battery pack is placed under the floor and can deliver an all-electric range of 160 km (99 mi), but a gasoline engine referred to as "REx", can be added to extend the car's range to 320 km (200 mi).
Design and technology 
BMW explained that taking advantage of the fact that the vehicle does not need an internal combustion engine up front, the i3 is being designed from the ground up, but avoiding to look podlike, with a dynamic sweep of the roof and the beltine to make it look sportier than most electrics. In order to achieve a lightweight car, the i3 will be the first mass production car to have most of its internal structure and body being made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). As of November 2010, BMW has only demonstrated the light weight of the passenger compartment, and the automaker's Chief Executive said they have already decided on the basic design of the car and that road-testing prototypes will begin soon.
The i3 will feature four doors and seating for four occupants with dimensions being slightly larger than the MINI Cooper and BMW 1 Series but smaller than the BMW 3 Series. The i3 will be powered by a newly developed powertrain consisting of a 134 horsepower electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries and driving the rear axle. BMW is aiming to achieve a range of 160 km (100 mi), the same range that was expected for the BMW ActiveE, but in order to reduce weight with a battery capacity of 16 kWh instead of the ActiveE's 30 kWh.
The BMW i3 is likely to feature a single pedal that acts as both accelerator and brake. When the driver releases the pedal, the vehicle's kinetic energy is used to power a generator that recharges the battery. This has the effect of slowing the car down. During the field testing of the Mini E, which features an accelerator that recharges the battery in this way, and brakes that only apply to the rear wheels, BMW has learned that drivers tend to rely on the single pedal: some 75% of all deceleration maneuvers are initiated without the brake while in urban traffic. BMW also expects that the i3 will use the same type of battery and powertrain that is being tested in the BMW ActiveE trials.
The prototype presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show has a 22 kWh (79 MJ) lithium-ion battery pack that is expected to deliver between 130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) and the battery will take about four hours to fully charge from the 240-volt charging unit. The i3 is expected to go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in less than 8 seconds. The BMW i3 has a 130 kW (170 hp) electric motor that will be mounted on the rear axle to drive the rear wheels . The top speed will be limited to 150 km/h (93 mph). BMW designed the i3 eDrive powertrain under the premise that the battery would only require to be recharged once every two to three days, based on the field trial results of the BMW ActiveE and MINI E vehicles in Asia, Europe and the U.S. reflecting their pilot customers typical commuting use between home and workplace.
In June 2012 an updated version of the BMW i3 concept car was unveiled at the opening of the first BMW i store located at BMW’s London Park Lane showroom. The updated i3 concept has a new interior colour and materials concept. The seat covers combine responsibly sourced wool and naturally tanned leather using a tannin agent made from olive leaves. The almost symmetrical curving dash is inlaid with eucalyptus wood which BMW said is eucalyptus wood sourced from sustainable managed European forests, while information is fed to the driver through a 16.5 cm (6.5 in) freestanding instrument cluster and 22.3 cm (8.8 in) central information display. The wood is treated using natural materials, giving it a high-class finish and distinctive hue. There is no center tunnel bisecting the cabin, due to the bench-derived front seats and lack of floor-mounted transmission, brake levers or center console that make possible for a driver or passenger to slide to either side of the car to get out in tight parking spaces.
- Operating modes
The BMW i3 allows the driver to select the car energy consumption through three different drive modes: COMFORT, ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode. In the standard COMFORT mode the i3 delivers a range of 160 km (100 mi). The ECO PRO mode increases the driving range by around 10% through a different accelerator pedal mapping which uses less power. In ECO PRO+ mode, all settings are geared to achieving the maximum possible range, increasing the driving range by about 25% compared with COMFORT mode. In this mode the maximum speed of the BMW i3 is limited to 90 km/h (56 mph) and electrical devices such as the heating and air conditioning are switched to energy-saving mode.
- Range extender option
BMW will offer a gasoline range extender engine as an option. The range extender will be powered by the same 650 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine used in the BMW C650 GT motorcycle. The range extender engine will only engage when the battery level drops to a pre-specified point, acting purely as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range to about 320 km (200 mi). The i3 performance in range-extending mode may be more limited than when it is running on battery power, as BMW clarified that the range extender is designed not for long-distance travel but purely as a emergency backup to keep the electric system going until the next recharging location. 
- Additional mobility
BMW i is planning to offer additional mobility packages for trips where the range of an BMW i3 would not be enough to allow customers to cover longer distances, such as providing a conventional BMW vehicle on a given number of days per year.
BMW plans to manufacture the i3 body-in-white from carbon-fiber at a new US$100 million plant being built in Moses Lake, Washington, using raw material that will be shipped from Japan. This location was selected to take advantage of the abundant hydroelectric power available in this U.S. region because carbon-fiber production requires considerable energy and would otherwise emit much carbon dioxide. The carbon fiber will then be shipped to Landshut, Germany, where the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic parts will be fabricated, and the vehicle assembly line will be located in Leipzig.
On November 2010, the Leipzig plant was inaugurated, with an investment in the production that will amount to €400 million euros (US$561 million) through 2013. The plant will be at BMW's complex that already produces variants of the 1 Series model. A concept version of the BMW i3 Coupe reflecting the current status of ongoing development was presented at the March 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The production version is expected to debut at the September 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The i3 roll out is scheduled for late 2013 and planned to include major cities around the world, including those in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, where the Mini E demonstration programs took place.
- United States
Sales are scheduled to start in November 2013 at a price of €40,000 (US$52,000) for the all-electric version, and the range-extender option costs an additional €3,000 (US$4,000).
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: BMW i3|
- Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles
- List of electric cars currently available
- List of modern production plug-in electric vehicles
- List of production battery electric vehicles
- MIT Media Lab's CityCar
- Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility
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