New Details About the BMW i3 Released

BMW i3 Coupe 1 photo
Photo: BMW
BMW's new all-electric car, the i3 Concept Coupe will be unveiled at Geneva this week. Along with the new i8 Concept the two new cars from BMW will usher in a new era for BMW cars.
It is a new era because the research done while creating these amazing new cars will help build better cars in the future. The new 7 Series is already rumored to have new body parts made out of carbon fiber mixes and to be equipped with new iDrive and ConnectedDrive systems, all of which have been developed whilst creating the new i3 and i8.

Even the new F15 X5 will have these features, all of these being done in the hope of reducing the cars' weight to further improve the fuel efficiency and CO2 levels of future models.

This year, BMW will start deliveries of the new i3. The main problems electric cars face are: the short driving range and the inadequate charging infrastructure. Therefore, BMW tested the new car's issues on the biggest electric mobility field trial ever attempted.

BMW conducted trials and experimented with range issues and infrastructure problems since 2008. Over 1,000 pilot customers in ten countries over 3 continents drove in excess of 20 million km to see how they get along with the eDrive vehicles and what issues they encounter.

The results were surprising. The infrastructure for charging the electric cars was rarely used. Actually they only needed a recharge every 2 or three days and most charges were done at home or at the workplace, only about 10% of them being done at a public recharging station, even though, at the beginning of the tests, most drivers said that this will be the biggest problem.

Furthermore, the distances covered in the electric vehicles were about the same as the ones covered in conventional cars, somewhere around 40 km a day. So all these tests were done on a normal routine and the electric cars' range was not an issue, neither was the recharging of the vehicles.

Keeping track of all the data recorded from the tests, BMW managed to understand where the work had to be done. Some new technologies help out with the energy consumption, technologies like the heat pump principle that is used for heating the cabin, or the high voltage batteries that are less sensitive to the temperature changes or, the LED lighting inside and out.

Furthermore, the i3 will be the first production car to have Connected Drive systems in order to further decrease the energy consumption. How is that possible? Well, using the new navigation system will allow you to avoid heavy traffic and all the unnecessary stop-go conditions that deplete the car's energy levels.

The navigation system will also show you the areas you can reach in a spider gram, according to the car's current charge level. This way you can avoid running out of batteries while away from a charging station or your home or workplace. Of course, the range will depend on the driving mode you selected.

The i3 will have 3 driving modes available: COMFORT, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+. The onboard computer will suggest the appropriate mode, depending on the destination you set up on the navigation system. If the destination is far away the ECO PRO+ mode will be suggested, for closer destinations other modes, and so on.

On the Comfort mode, the i3 offers a rather sporty feel with 160 Km in range (with the range extender) so going in the other, more economical modes will also increase your range accordingly. For example, in ECO PRO+ mode the range is extended by 25%.
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