BMW Pours Out Official Specs on the i3

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 26

BMW i3

BMW i3

It seems BMW is ready to reveal all the details on the i3, except for the one we’re most eagerly waiting for: price.

BMW i3 Cutaway

BMW i3 Cutaway

Sometime yesterday, BMW slid out a 24-page PDF document detailing almost all you’d ever want to know in regards to the upcoming i3.

It’s an information overload, that’s for sure, but there are a few points we’ll highlight before diving deep into the trillion-word PDF.

First, allow us to point out this statement made on the opening page of the BMW’s i3 PDF:

“Note: All technical specifications in this media information are provisional.  The equipment described refers to specification for the German market”

Moving on, we see that BMW lists the i3 battery warranty at 8 years or 100,000 km (62,000 miles), whichever comes first.  Again, this could well be only for the German market.  It seems to us that this warranty will be lengthened in the US.

BMW discusses range on several occasions in the PDF file, but we found that these two statements stood out:

See Where That Range Extender Fits In?

See Where That Range Extender Fits In?

“The lithium-ion battery enables the BMW i3 to achieve a range of 130 to 160 kilometres (81 – 99 miles) in everyday driving. This rises by around 20 kilometres (12 miles) in ECO PRO mode and by the same distance again in ECO PRO+ mode. If desired, the BMW i3 is also available with a range-extender engine, which maintains the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move as soon as it dips below a specified value. This role is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine developing 25 kW/34 hp and mounted immediately adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car’s maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 300 kilometres (approx. 180 miles).”

“And an optional interior heating system based on the principle of a heat pump uses up to 30 percent less energy in city driving than conventional electric heating.

There’s simply far too much detailed information in BMW’s PDF to slosh through here.  So, we’ll instead post the ever-so-important spec sheet below, followed by that trillion word PDF in all of its glory…Enjoy!

BMW i3 Spec Sheet - Click to Enlarge

BMW i3 Spec Sheet – Click to Enlarge

Okay, maybe we’ll skip on posting that 24-page PDF presser here.  Instead, here’s the link to the official BMW i3 PDF release.

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26 responses to "BMW Pours Out Official Specs on the i3"

  1. David Murray says:

    The most interesting thing I got out of this was the rating on the range extender. So it appears it can supply 25Kw of power. That’s definitely not enough to drive at upper highway speeds for extended periods. So I would imagine the idea behind the 180 miles of range is that you keep the ICE running while you are also depleting the battery, thus giving you full power for up to 180 miles. What happens after that? Does the car operate in reduced power mode?

    Its actually a great idea, though, if you think about it. I’m sure that $2,000 range extender is much cheaper than doubling the battery capacity to 44 Kwh. And since you won’t need that extra range 95% of the time, this does seem like an excellent compromise to keep costs down and offer that extra range.

    I think it’d be great if the next gen Volt moved in that direction…. give us a little more battery and a little less engine. As long as the costs are the same in the end, I’d be fine with that.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      my recollection is that CARB says range extender can’t come on till after battery depletion. I suppose you could pull off the road and just let the RE charge the battery if you have a big hill to go up.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        Or just drive slower up the hill.

        1. kdawg says:

          That would be pretty slow. Even the smallest hills easily require more than 25kW. I don’t see this car going up Pikes Peak anytime soon.

      2. Cog says:

        Well, that begs explaining how Hold mode works in CA, for the Volt.

    2. kdawg says:

      Yes, 25kW would just be maintaining ~75mph in my Volt on level ground. However, during decels & stops, if the range extender kept putting out this power, it would recharge the battery buffer, for more power for accelerating in (50kW) bursts. Maybe 25kW is the magical minimum number when you have it act like Hold Mode to keep say 5kWh’s in the battery? The Volt does this when it is running CS mode. Every once in awhile, the range extender will dump energy back into the battery, to maintain its buffer for acceleration.

    3. taser54 says:

      Volt 2.0 will have a smaller and more efficient range extender, just not as underpowered as the i3.

      1. Dan Frederiksen says:

        25kW isn’t underpowered my foolish friend. It’s one of the few things they actually did right. You are 100% wrong.

    4. Darius says:

      25 kW is exactly what is needed for highway speeds. Could be not enaugh for mountain drive, but here mountain mode will be really needed. Not like Volt’s mountain mode absolutely usless due to engine overcapacity.

    5. Anderlan says:

      BS. I cruise in my xB (1.5L) at 20kW, at least as roughly calculated by the android Torque app. Sure, it goes up to 50kW or more when more power is needed but on average it uses 20kW, and average can be max output on a range extender.

    6. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Or, they could keep the engine small but get decent HP/kW out of it with forced induction, so as to enable driving at highway speeds on relatively level ground. Motorcycles routinely get >100HP/l out of naturally-aspirated engines, so a 650cc engine should be able to push 65HP without turbo, say 80kW (~110HP) with. Incorporate the turbo into the exhaust manifold, and incorporate a generator into it so it can be spooled up like an electric supercharger to eliminate lag while being able to run as a generator instead of having to blow off excess pressure.

    7. john lh says:

      From my experience with battery 3 wheeler, this extender can actually direct power the vehicles as the battery pack.

      The battery pack works only as something like buffer, to make the electric current supply stable.

      The actual consumption of petrol in this case is a 25kw motorcycle engine.

      If BMW make a hub motor to drive this i3 models, it can run much longer, and the vehicle weight will be much less.
      I think this car’s main consumption of battery and fuel is its air conditioner system.

  2. kdawg says:

    Wow, 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds is impressive.

    1. Anderlan says:

      Yes. And 2600lbs is amazing for an electric. If they can sell this for under $40k, Tesla’s Bluestar planners will have something to worry about.

      1. kdawg says:

        Well the Bluestar will have a 200 mile range. Elon has stated that is the min required for an EV. (and I agree for me personally)

        1. Dan Frederiksen says:

          Elon is wrong

          1. Mark H says:

            “Elon is wrong”
            That’s three words you don’t often hear together.

            150 is my preferred range without an extender (like the 40kWh Model S that was discontinued) . The i3 range is more than acceptable with its extender. With the i3 range, the extender will only be used on extended trips.

      2. Aaron says:

        At 2,580 lbs., this car is just barely heavier than the i-MiEV. Extensive use of composites is likely why.

  3. taser54 says:

    Looks promising: Caveats- range is based upon European driving cycle and ECO Pro+ limits speeds to 56 mph. So the estimated range of 120 miles (200km) on European driving cycle is the same as the 2013 Leaf. The 2013 leaf has an EPA range of 75 miles.

    1. taser54 says:

      Actually, BMW does a slight of hand rating (everyday driving) and (EU Cycle). Still, I think the comparison to the Leaf’s ratings will hold.

    2. evnow says:

      Leaf EPA rating is 84 miles @ 100% charge.

  4. Brian says:

    What’s that I see under the hood? Nothing? Could it be that the i3 will also feature a “frunk”? That’s a great way to show off the versatility of an EV as compared to an ICEV!

  5. bloggin says:

    Nice statistics. What’s it’s missing is the 2.4 gallon fuel tank for the range extender.

    So at 80 extended miles, it will run at 33mpg and at 100 extended miles, it will run at 41 mpg.

    Which means it’s fuel efficiency in range extending/gasoline mode will be about the same as the Volt plug-in hybrid at about 37 mpg.

  6. Cog says:

    155’s, on 5 inch rims! That’s ~50 fewer milimeters of tire, than the Volt. More power, low CG. Maybe it was a play for EPA numbers? Without body roll, many will have the confidence to exhaust what these things deliver.

    “And an optional interior heating system based on the principle of a heat pump uses up to 30 prcent less energy in city driving than conventional electric heating” -This, and the other efficiency modes go to show battery size is only one aspect of EVolution.

  7. EV Oneday says:

    I actually tried to read their press release, yikes!
    But what did catch my eye is the ability to know if a charger is available before you arrive… Is that something EV’s can do also. I’ve only seen where the map shows you where the nearest charge stations are, not whether being used.

    1. EV Oneday says:

      I meant is that something other EV cars can do…