BMW i3 Wins Popular Mechanics “10 Breakthrough Products of 2013” Award

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 9

BMW i3 - A Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product of 2013

BMW i3 – A Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product of 2013

Once a year, Popular Mechanics awards “10 Breakthrough Products.”

It's the i3's Exotic Construction That Most Intrigues Popular Mechanics

It’s the i3’s Exotic Construction That Most Intrigues Popular Mechanics

For 2013, that list of 10 includes only one automobile: the BMW i3

So, without further adieu, here’s why Popular Mechanics says the BMW i3 was worthy of the award

BMW i3 ($42,275)

“With a range of up to 100 miles from its lithium-ion battery pack, the BMW i3 is a lot like other electric vehicles. What’s innovative is the way it’s built: A passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic means a curb weight of around 2800 pounds—light for any kind of car. And by reexamining the production process all the way down to the raw materials, BMW found a way to offer a car made from exotic materials for a little over $40,000. Affordable, mass-produced carbon fiber has the potential to make every vehicle safer and more fun to drive. The i3 goes on sale in Europe late this year and will be available stateside in spring 2014”

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9 responses to "BMW i3 Wins Popular Mechanics “10 Breakthrough Products of 2013” Award"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    when do we hear about real world tests of the RE?
    When does Tom M. get his?

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Tom M. lives in the good ol’ US of A. Deliveries here aren’t scheduled to even begin until Q2 2014. Long time to wait still.

      REx test drives coming soon.

    2. Hi George,

      I believe(hope) we’ll see some real REx tests soon. I am quite sure most people will be pleasantly surprised about how well it performs. It’s much more robust than many (including myself) originally believed it to be. I’ve had some recent discussions with i3 product managers Oliver Walter and Jose Guerrero and I’m now convinced it will be able to sustain the i3’s charge level under just about any driving condition. Owners will not have to worry about it having difficulty sustaining the SOC. I’m sure there would be a way to purposely deplete it if you tried to by but if you drive reasonably it will be able to deliver the power needed for anything.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        If I remember correctly, BMW has something equivalent to mountain mode so the RE comes on a little early like the Volt. Seems like BMW was using about the same battery buffer as GM in this mode. Does it require a special button push like in the Volt…you know like pushing mountain mode button on the Volt?

  2. Kosh says:

    Popular Mechanics? So credible…. WHERE IS MY FLYING CAR?

  3. philba says:

    @Kosh, so no one is ever allowed to get it wrong once and a while?

    The problem I have with REX (and any hybrid solution) is that there is inherent complexity in having both EV and ICE components. The beauty of BEVs is their simplicity. ICEs require fuel, ignition, cooling, emission/exhaust, timing, engine lubrication systems. At least REX type solutions don’t have multigear transmission and trans-axle but it’s still a long way from the simplicity of BEVs.

    I do think using carbon fiber components is an interesting advance but I wonder how crash worthy it is. Looking forward to the various crash tests, particularly the side pole impact one.

    1. Aaron says:

      I’m certain it’s quite crash-worthy. Repairing the car with all its CFRP parts is gonna be expensive. As is replacing those oddly-sized 19″ tires.

    2. Maks says:

      I think as ReX this tech http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/germans-create-free-piston-multi-fuel-engine-that-could-answer-ev-range-anxiety-issues/ is good compromise, may be even better solution for some time then superchargers network with 100% ev.

  4. Bret says:

    I like the i3 and think it’s worthy of some accolades for it’s advanced CFRP design. I wish it had a little more range without the REx, because I would love to skip the weight and complexity. Perhaps, it will become a non-issue as new combo charging stations come online. If it has a decent amount of range in Eco Pro+ mode, I may skip the REx.