BMW i

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BMW i
Sub-brand of BMW
Industry Automotive industry
Founded 2011
Products Plug-in electric vehicles
Owner BMW
Parent BMW
Website BMW i

The BMW i is a sub-brand of BMW founded in 2011 to design and manufacture plug-in electric vehicles.[1][2][3] The company's initial plans call for the release of two vehicles; the i3 all-electric car and the i8 plug-in hybrid. Concept versions of both these vehicles were shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.[4]

Series production of the BMW i3 destined for retail customers began in September 2013,[5] and the European market launch took place in November 2013 with the first retail deliveries in Germany.[6] The BMW i8 was launched in Germany in June 2014.[7] The United States, Norway, Germany, and the UK are the main markets for both models.

In February 2016, BMW announced the introduction of the "iPerformance" model designation, which is being given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles from July 2016. The aim is to provide a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.[8] As of November 2016, four BMW electrified models have been released using BMW i technology, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, released in 2015, and the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 330e iPerformance, and BMW 740e iPerformance, released in 2016.[9][10]

BMW i sales reached the 50,000 unit milestone in January 2016.[11] Global i3 sales achieved the 50,000 unit milestone in July 2016.[12] Combined global sales of BMW i and iPerformance plug-in hybrid models achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in early November 2016, three years after the inception of the i3. BMW's leading electrified model is the i3 with more than 60,000 units sold globally.[13] Two years after its introduction, the BMW i3 became the world's all-time third best selling all-electric car, and remained as such as of December 2016.[14][15]

History[edit]

Project i[edit]

BMW's "Project i" is a program created to develop lightweight eco-friendly urban electric car concepts designed to address the mobility and sustainability needs for people who live in megacities.[1][2] 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 was based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe and built considering the lessons learned from the Mini E trial. The last phase of "Project i" was the development of the i3 and i8 electric cars.[1][16][17]

The automaker expected that its first series production all-electric drive vehicle would help it achieve an overall fleet fuel economy average of 6.63 L/100 km (35.5 mpg) by 2016, as mandated by U.S. federal regulations. BMW expected high volume sales of the i3 to allow the company to continue selling several of its high-performance cars with low fuel economy in the U.S.[16]

BMW i Park Lane showroom in London.

In February 2011, BMW announced a new sub-brand, BMW i, to market the vehicles produced under Project i. BMW i vehicles are to be sold separately from BMW or Mini. The first two production models are the BEV (battery electric) Mega City Vehicle, now called BMW i3, and a plug-in hybrid called BMW 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 was scheduled to start in Leipzig in 2013.[3][18]

Global i3 sales passed the 25,000 unit milestone in May 2015.[19] Combined global sales of the BMW i brand models passed the 30,000 mark in June 2015,[20] and the 50,000 unit milestone in January 2016.[11] Global sales of the BMW i3 achieved the 50,000 unit milestone in July 2016.[12]

As of December 2016, BMW expects a stable development in the plug-in electric market with low profits the next 5-7 years, until batteries have doubled their capacity,[21] with the goal to expand the share of its electrified models to between 15% and 25% of sales by 2025.[22][23] BMW's next electric development is expected to be the self-driving iNext in 2021.[24]

Stores[edit]

The first BMW i store opened in June 2012 at BMW’s London Park Lane showroom. The carmaker premiered an updated version of the BMW i3 concept electric car and unveiled its i Pedelec electric bicycle concept.[25] On November 15, 2013, retail deliveries for the i3 began with a special ceremony in Munich.[6]

Using eDrive in core-brand BMW models[edit]

On 1 December 2014, BMW announced the group is planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its core-brand models using eDrive technology developed for its BMW i brand plug-in vehicles. The goal of the company is to use plug-in technology to continue offering high performance vehicles while reducing CO2 emissions below 100g/km.[26] In February 2016, BMW announced the introduction of the "iPerformance" model designation, which will be given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles from July 2016. The aim is to provide a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.[8]

Sales of BMW i and iPerformance designated plug-in hybrid drive models have grown strongly in Europe, accounting for 4% of all BMW vehicles sold in Western Europe in June 2016. The percentage is significantly higher in markets with strong incentives and infrastructural measures, such as Netherlands, with 14.9% of all BMW vehicles sold in June were BMW i or BMW iPerformance models, and Scandinavia with 13.2%. Combined global sales of BMW i or BMW iPerformance models totaled 23,675 units during the first half of 2016. This is the result of the expanded range of electrified models, which includes seven electrified models including plug-in hybrids. Sales of this type of vehicle during the first half of 2016 were just under 87% higher than the same period in 2015.[27] Combined global sales of BMW i and iPerformance plug-in hybrid models achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in early November 2016, three years after the inception of the BMW i3.[13]

Official fleet of BMW i3s and BMW i8s on duty at the 2016 Paris ePrix, France

Products[edit]

As of February 2017, only two BMW i models are offered, the BMW i3 all-electric car with optional range-extender (REx), and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid. BMW intends a family car above the i3 to have an optional range extender.[28] As of May 2016, BMW i was present in 50 countries, with both the i3 and i8 plug-in vehicles.[29] In November 2016, BMW announced the company expected to deliver 60,000 of its electrified i and iPerformance models in 2016, and a sales target of 100,000 units for 2017. BMW set the goal to expand the share of its electrified models to between 15% and 25% of sales by 2025.[30] As of December 2016, the i3 ranked as the world's third best selling all-electric car in history, including REx variant sales.[15]

BMW i8 (left) and i3 (right) concept cars unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

As of August 2016, a total of 65,638 units of both i brand vehicles had been sold worldwide since 2013, of which, 17,793 units were sold in 2014, 29,513 in 2015, and 16,855 during the first eight months of 2016.[31][32][33][34][35] The United States is the top selling market for both plug-ins, with 23,321 BMW i3s and 4,108 BMW i8s sold through October 2016.[29][36]

The demand for BMW i and iPerformance vehicles increased significantly during the first half of 2016. In June 2016, 4% of all BMW sales in Western Europe were electrified cars,[37] and again in July 2016, the electrified models captured 4% of all BMW sales in the region.[38] In the Netherlands, 43% of BMW 3 Series registrations in July 2016 corresponded to the plug-in hybrid BMW 330e iPerformance model, and 26% of BMW 2 Series Active Tourer registrations were for the BMW 225xe. Those figures were higher in Scandinavia, with the plug-in hybrid versions accounting for 45% of all BMW 3 Series sales, and 55% of all BMW 2 Series Active Tourer sales.[38] Sales of BMW iPerformance vehicles totaled 17,809 units during the first eight months of 2016.[35] Combined global sales of BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles totaled 34,664 units from January to August 2016, already exceeding 2015 total net sales of BMW electrified vehicles, and representing 2.3% of total BMW global sales during the first eight months of 2016.[35][39] In November 2016, more than one third of total BMWs sales in the Dutch market were electrified models.[40]

Sales of BMW plug-in hybrid and i3 electric cars in China totaled 1,796 units during the first nine months of 2016.[41] In the United States, sales of plug-in electric models represented 3.5% of BMW total sales in the country between January and June 2016, the highest share of plug-in vehicles sold for any carmaker in the American market except for Tesla Motors.[42] In July 2016, the i3 achieved a 7.5% share of all BMW passenger car sales in the American market. Accounting for all BMW plug-ins (i3, i8, X5 xDrive40e and 330e) sold in July 2016 (2,375 units), BMW also achieved a 9.2% share of the brand's total passenger and light trucks sales.[43]

Global sales of all plug-in electrified models achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in early November 2016, consisting of more than 60,000 i3s, over 10,000 i8s, and about 30,000 from combined sales of all BMW iPerformance plug-in hybrid models.[13] Combined global sales of BMW’s electrified models totaled 54,857 units during the first eleven months of 2016.[40]

BMW i3[edit]

Main article: BMW i3

Design and technology[edit]

The BMW i3 is an electric car, BMW's first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle. The i3 is the first volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.[44] This vehicle gets its power from an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. The i3 is built for everyday use, with an all-electric range of 130 to 160 km (81 to 99 mi). BMW is offering a range extender (“REx”) option powered by a 647 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine with a 9 L (2.0 imp gal; 2.4 US gal) fuel tank that engages when the battery level drops to a pre-specified point, acting purely as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range to about 240 to 300 km (150 to 190 mi).[45]

BMW i3 charging

According to BMW, at the beginning of the i3 release, the use of range-extender was much more than the carmaker expected, more than 60%. Over time it has decreased significantly, with some people almost never using it, and by early 2016 it is being regularly used in fewer than 5% of i3s.[28]

In May 2016, BMW announced that the 2017 model year (MY) BMW i3 will come with an improved battery pack with 50% more capacity (33 kWh) than the previous model with a corresponding range increase expected to achieve 114 mi (183 km) under the EPA cycle, and 195 mi (314 km) under the New European Driving Cycle.[29][46] The Range Extender (REx) variant features the same higher capacity battery as the all-electric model, with a corresponding all-electric range increase.[29] Deliveries of the 2017 MY i3 in the U.S. market began in the third quarter of 2016.[47] Both variants with the improved battery are available in the UK starting in July 2016.[46]

Production[edit]

BMW invested US$100 million to build a plant in Moses Lake, Washington to manufacture the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic used on the vehicles' body panels.[16] The plant is located in an area that has large access to hydroelectric power.[16] The carbon fiber is then shipped to Germany, where it first gets fabricated and is then shipped to the automotive production plant in Leipzig.[16]

Markets and sales[edit]

BMW i3 badge

The first i3 deliveries to retail customers in Europe took place at the official market launch ceremony held in Munich on 15 November 2013.[6] The i3 was also launched in the UK in November 2013.[48] The release in the American market took place in May 2014.[49] As of November 2015, the core phase of the market introduction of the i3 was finished, with only some smaller markets are still to follow.[14] As of May 2016, BMW i3 was available in 50 countries.[29]

The i3 ranked third among all-electric cars sold worldwide in 2014.[50][51] BMW i3 sales grew from 16,052 units in 2014 to 24,057 in 2015,[32][33] allowing the i3 to rank for the second year in a row as the world's third best selling all-electric car. Also in 2015 the i3 ranked fifth among the world's top selling plug-in electric cars.[52] About 25,500 units were delivered worldwide in 2016, up 6% from 2015, allowing the BMW i3 to rank in 2016 for the third year running as the world's third best-selling all-electric car. In 2016 the i3 also ranked as the fifth top selling plug-in electric car.[15] All sales figures include the REx variant.

Norway has the largest BMW i3 market penetration per capita in the world.[53]

Since its introduction, global cumulative sales totaled about 65,500 units through December 2016, making the i3 the world's all-time third best-selling all-electric car after the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S. These figure includes REx sales.[15] As of November 2016, three years after its market launch, the i3 is the top selling BMW electrified model, and accounts for 60% of combined BMW i and BMW iPerformance models.[13]

As of December 2016, the United States is the i3 top selling market with 24,741 units sold since its inception,[29][54][55] with the REx variant outselling the pure electric version at a 3:1 ratio.[56] The other top markets are Norway with 8,034 new units registered through November 2016,[57][58][59][60] Germany with 7,493 units registered through November 2016,[61][62][63][64] and the UK with almost 6,000 i3s sold through October 2016.[65]

Two years after it market launch, the BMW i3 became the top selling electric vehicle in Germany. In Norway the BMW i3 was the best-selling model across the entire BMW range during 2015.[14] Norway has the world's largest i3 market penetration per capita due to its population size,[53] As of November 2016, Norway is also the world's second largest market for the BMW i3, accounting for more than 13% of total i3 production since inception.[66] In another achievement, the BMW i3 ranked as the top selling new passenger car model in Norway in November 2016, capturing a market share of 7.7% of total new car sales.[60][67]

BMW i8[edit]

Main article: BMW i8

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid is the production version of the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and has an all-electric range of 35 kilometres (22 mi). Production of both plug-in electric cars is scheduled to start in Leipzig in 2013.[3] Powering the front wheels will be an electric motor (131 hp), while the rear wheels will make use of a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder gasoline engine (231 hp).[68] Zero to 60 mph sprint timings are estimated to be less than 4.5 seconds using both power sources.[4] The positioning of the motor and engine over the axles also makes it benefit from a 50/50 weight distribution.[68]

BMW i8 badge

The production version of the i8 was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.[69] BMW plans to sell the i8 in about 50 countries, with the U.S. expected to be the largest sales market. In Europe, the UK, Germany and France are expected to be the top markets.[70] Retail deliveries began in Germany in June 2014.[7] Deliveries to retail customers in the U.S. started in August 2014.[71]

As of December 2015, global sales totaled 7,197 i8s, of which, 1,741 units were sold in 2014, and 5,456 in 2015.[32][33] In 2015 global sales of the BMW i8 exceeded the combined figure of all other hybrid sports cars produced by other manufacturers.[72] The United States is the leading market with 4,108 units delivered through October 2016,[73][54][74] followed by the UK with about 1,700 sold through October 2016,[65] and Germany with 986 i8s registered through September 2016.[62][63][75] Since mid-2014 more than 10,000 BMW i8s have been sold worldwide by early November 2016, making the i8 the world's top selling plug-in electrified sports cars.[13]

The BMW i8 Roadster concept was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. In October 2016, BMW announced that the roadster variant would be added to the BMW i lineup in 2018. The i8 roadster is expected to get a longer-range batter.[76]

Life-Drive[edit]

Both the i3 and i8 will benefit from BMW’s Life-Drive platform which makes use of light-weight materials.[2] Both cars will come with an aluminum chassis, and in the case of the i8, the windshield, top, doors and fenders are made from polycarbonate glass, with the body having a drag coefficient of 0.26.[77]

EPA ratings[edit]

The following are the BMW i3 (both 60 and 94 ampere-hour per hour batteries) and i8 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings for all-electric range and fuel economy.

BMW i3 EPA ratings [78][79][80][81]
Model Year
model
Fuel/EV range Combined City/Highway Notes
BEV
(94 A·h)
2017 114 mi (183 km) 118 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
129 mpg-e/
106 mpg-e
BEV
(60 A·h)
2014
2015
2016
81 mi (130 km) 124 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
137 mpg-e
(25 kW-hrs/100 mi)/
111 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
[a]
REx
(94 A·h)
2017 Electricity only
97 mi (156 km)
111 mpg-e
(30 kWh/100 mi)
- [b]
Gasoline only
83 mi (134 km)
35 mpg -
REx
(60 A·h)
2014
2015
2016
Electricity only
72 mi (116 km)
117 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
97 mpg-e/
79 mpg-e
Gasoline only
78 mi (126 km)
39 mpg/
41 mpg
37 mpg
BMW i8 EPA ratings [87]
BMW i8 2014
2015
2016
Electricity only
15 mi (24 km)
76 mpg-e
(43 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- [c]
Gasoline only
315 mi (507 km)
28 mpg 28 mpg/
29 mpg
Notes:
  1. ^ Between May 2014 and October 2016 the all-electric BMW i3 60 A·h was the most fuel efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all years regardless of fuel type.[82][83][84]
  2. ^ The EPA classifies the i3 REx as a series plug-in hybrid or EREV[78][80][85] while CARB as a range-extended battery-electric vehicle (BEVx).[86] Since June 2014 the BMW i3 REx is the most fuel efficient EPA-certified vehicle current year vehicle with a gasoline engine in terms of its MPG-e combined gasoline/electricity rating.[79]
  3. ^ The i8 does not run on 100% electricity as it consumes 0.1 gallons per 100 mi in EV mode.

BMW iPerformance[edit]

The BMW X5 xDrive40e is a plug-in hybrid with an all-electric range of 23 km (14 mi) that uses BMW i cars technology.

Launched in Europe and the U.S. in 2015, the BMW X5 xDrive40e is the first plug-in hybrid released under the core BMW brand. The use of BMW's eDrive technology on the established X5 platform is a direct technology transfer from the BMW i cars, in particular, from the BMW i8 technology.[9]

In February 2016, BMW announced the introduction of the "iPerformance" model designation, which was given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles from July 2016. The aim is to provide a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.[8] The first BMW car launched to the market with the "iPerformance" model designation was the BMW 330e iPerformance, initially named the 330e. Deliveries in the American market began in the second quarter of 2016.[88] The new designation was also used on the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series, the BMW 740e iPerformance.[8]

The iPerformance models take advantage of technical expertise regarding electric motors, battery cells and electronic control systems. Visible indicators for the vehicles with this designation are a BMW i logo on the front side panel, BMW i-style blue elements in the kidney grille and wheel hubs, and an eDrive logo on the C-pillar. Customers can also make use of the BMW i 360° ELECTRIC range of products and services, including the BMW i Wallbox.[8]

As of November 2016, four BMW electrified models have been released, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 330e iPerformance, and the BMW 740e iPerformance.[10] The BMW 530e iPerformance is scheduled to be released in Europe March 2017 as part of the upcoming seventh generation BMW 5 Series lineup.[89]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  56. ^ Cole, Jay (2017-02-18). "19,130 BMW i3 REx Recalled In US Due To Fire Risk…Thanks To Its Gas Extender". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  57. ^ Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) (January 2014). "CO2-utslippet i desember 2013" [CO2 emissions in December 2013] (in Norwegian). OFV. Retrieved 2016-01-17.  A total of 51 new i3s were registered in Norway in 2013.
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  61. ^ Kraftfahrt-Bundesamtes (KBA) (January 2014). "Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen im Dezember 2013 nach Segmenten und Modellreihen" [New registrations of passenger cars in December 2013 by segment and model series] (PDF) (in German). KBA. Retrieved 2014-05-10.  A total of 559 units were registered in Germany in 2013.
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  63. ^ a b Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) (January 2016). "Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen nach Segmenten und Modellreihen im Dezember 2015" [New registrations of passenger cars by segments and models in December 2015] (PDF) (in German). KBA. Retrieved 2016-01-17.  A total of 2,271 i3s and 393 i8s were registered in Germany in 2015.
  64. ^ Kraftfahrt-Bundesamtes (KBA) (December 2016). "Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen im November 2016 nach Marken und Modellreihen" [New registrations of passenger cars in November 2016 by brand and model] (PDF) (in German). KBA. Retrieved 2016-12-14.  A total of 2,430 i3s and 217 i8s were registered in Germany between January and November 2016.
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  67. ^ Hegvold, Ola (2016-12-02). "BMW med elbil-sjokk i november" [BMW with electric vehicle shock in November]. Adressa (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
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  73. ^ Jeff Cobb (2015-01-06). "December 2014 Dashboard". HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates. Retrieved 2015-01-10.  See section "December 2014 Battery Electric Car Sales Numbers"
  74. ^ Cobb, Jeff (2016-11-02). "October 2016 Dashboard". HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates. Retrieved 2016-11-04. 
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  82. ^ U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy (2016-11-16). "Most Efficient EPA Certified Vehicles". fueleconomy.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-19.  The 2014–16 BMW i3 BEV was the most efficient EPA-certified vehicles considering all fuels and of all years until November 2016, when it was surpassed by the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. As of November 2016, the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco hybrid car is most efficient EPA-certified vehicle with a gasoline engine without plug-in capability.
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  86. ^ John Voelcker (2014-05-02). "2014 BMW i3 Range-Extended Model Gets Full $2,500 CA Rebate For Electric Cars". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
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External links[edit]

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