Following the presentation of the BMW concept car at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the iconic brand has launched its very first entirely electric car under its BMW i sub-brand, the BMW i3. T This highly efficient four seater lightweight car incorporates some of the features of the concept version on the bodywork, including the black strip which continues from the bonnet to the back and the bright blue highlights on the front grid in addition to a scaled down version of the high tech instruments and digital driving aids.
Powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, this 170bhp vehicle can travel 130-160 on a single charge of 8-10 hours from a domestic outlet or 3-4 hours from a public charging station. As an optional extra, BMW i have produced a home charging unit, the Wallbox Pure, which speeds up the charging procedure to match that of a public station in time and cost.
Performance wise, the automobile exhibits an impressive acceleration rate of 0-100 kph in 7.2 seconds and attains top speeds of 150 kph. For the city driver who needs the car for longer trips, a further model is available with a supplementary 650cc engine which powers a generator to recharge the battery while driving. Called The Range Extender, the distance is stretched to 300 klm enabling the i3 to graduate to the status of a weekend getaway vehicle. And for the owners who would only use the i3 for the occasional trip then there is the BMW Access scheme which, for a subscription, the standard i3 owner has the option of hiring The Range Extender for a single trip, if and when required.