Following its world debut at the L.s> Auto Show last year, the BMW i3 Concept Coupe is now celebrating its European premiere in Geneva along with its bigger brother, the i8 Spyder. The i3 is BMW’s idea of a small, zero-emission, city car that is also emotional and exciting to drive.
The I-series cars are the spearhead of BMW’s EV offensive, which tries to address the two biggest problems associated with electric motoring: short driving range of electric vehicles and an inadequate charging infrastructure.
Since 2008 BMW’s electric prototypes has covered more than 20 million kilometers (12.5 million miles) of testing by well over 1,000 pilot customers in ten countries. BMW is now compiling all the information they’ve gathered on how real-world customers use their EVs to make the most convenient and user-friendly electric cars, the ‘i’ models.
So the production BMW i3 will have a range of between 130 and 160 kilometers (80 to 100 miles) in day-to-day operation, which means it needs to be recharged once every two to three days under normal use. It will use a number of features such as a special navigation map that highlights the most efficient route based on the driving mode, or unique electrical components to save energy while using systems like air con or lights.
The i3 can also be supplied with an optional range extender, which increases the driving range to approximately 300 kilometres (186 miles). That opens a window to a whole range of new possibilities, but it no longer will be zero emission.