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The BMW i3 Is Dead, Carmaker Pulls the Plug on the Electric Hatchback
BMW has pulled the plug on the i3, approximately eight and a half years after it entered production at the Leipzig plant, in Germany.

The BMW i3 Is Dead, Carmaker Pulls the Plug on the Electric Hatchback

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Sold in over 74 countries worldwide, in more than 250,000 copies, with the milestone vehicle rolling off the assembly line just a few days ago, the i3 is the BMW Group’s first mass-produced vehicle, and its demise is being celebrated with a special edition.

Originally unveiled last month, the BMW i3 HomeRun is limited to only 10 copies. It comes with a few exclusive touches inside and out, as interested parties can get it in Frozen Dark Gray, or Frozen Red II. It rides on 20-inch light alloy wheels in a double-spoke pattern, and is equipped with LED adaptive headlights, and panoramic glass roof.

All of them are offered with Vernasca Dark Truffle leather upholstery, galvanized trim, Carum Gray headliner, ambient lighting, and welcome lights. On top of these, the i3 HomeRun Edition has other stuff on-board, such as the heated front seats, real-time traffic information, Concierge services, alarm system, reversing camera, Comfort and Driving Assistant Plus, wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones, Professional navigation system, Harman Kardon premium audio, and others.

The BMW i3 is a true pioneer, and a symbol of the pioneering spirit,” said BMW’s member of the board of management responsible for production, Milan Nedeljkovic. “Thanks to the BMW i3, the Leipzig plant became the birthplace of e-mobility at BMW,” and “[the site] will become the hub for electric mobility and supply our production network worldwide with components [in the future].

The i3’s 184 ps (181 hp / 135 kW) powertrain, used in the ‘S’ variant, is shared with the MINI Cooper SE. Capable of hitting 100 kph (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds from rest, and a 150 kph (93 mph) top speed, the electric supermini has become the brand’s most popular model since its introduction in 2020. It features a 32.6 kWh battery pack that supports DC fast charging, which can be juiced up to 80% in 35 minutes, and gives it a range of 235-270 km (146-168 miles).

As for the high-voltage battery of the i3, which has a gross energy content of 42.2 kWh, it enables a 307-km (191-mile) autonomy on the WLTP cycle. BMW Group’s batteries, developed and produced in-house, have been used in other areas as well, including on the Streetscooter vans used by the postal service in Germany, on the Turkish company’s Karsan city buses, and on Torqeedo’s motorboats.

They are also being used as stationary energy storage systems for electricity generated from wind or solar power. An energy storage farm can be seen at the Leipzig factory, using 700 interconnected batteries identical to the ones powering the i3 that store energy generated by the four wind turbines.

Pulling the plug on the i3 doesn’t mark the end, but the continuation of an era for the BMW Group, as after allowing them to venture into the world of electric vehicles, it will make room for more modern zero-emission models. Starting next year, the next-generation MINI Countryman will be made at the same facility, in Leipzig, and it will be offered, in a premiere, with a battery-electric powertrain. Thus, the factory will become the first in the company’s global network to assemble models made by BMW and MINI under the same roof.

Series production at Leipzig began back in 2005. Today, around 1,100 cars roll off the line daily, and the facility is also where the 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, and 2 Series Active Tourer come to life. Home to around 5,300 employees, the Leipzig plant has received investments of over €3 billion ($3.05 billion).

 
 
 
 
 

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