Knock Off BMW i3 Is Hideous


Chinese automaker Qingzhou Da Jinma Motorcycle Corporation has unveiled the Jinma KWM2200 at the Shandong EV Expo – and judging by the first photos, it’s a hideous knock off of BMW’s i3 electric vehicle. The low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV) has a front-end that resembles the i3, starting with a chrome kidney grille, similar position of the badge on the hood, the headlights, foglights and the lower bottom of the bumper.

In the back, the knock off is less visible, yet the taillights and bumper are also a replica of the i3.

The interior design was a bit harder to replicate, so the Jinma KWM2200 sticks to cheap parts that make for a low-budget cabin. The car is is 3000mm long, 1400mm wide and 1540mm tall, with a 1930mm wheelbase and seating for four people.

The 3 kW electric motor works together with an old-generation lead-acid battery. A lithium-ion battery pack is planned in the future.

jinma jmw2200 2 660x495 Jinma JMW2200 is a knock off of BMW i3

Jinma KWM2200

Top speed for the car is set at 50 km/h (31 mph) with an optimistic driving range of 120 km (75 miles).  A  full recharge takes seven hours from a regular household outlet.

The Jinma KWM2200 has a starting price of 24,998 yuan (around $4,020).

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG. Check it out here.


Jinma KWM2200


Jinma KWM2200

[Source: Carnewschina]

Category: BMW


40 responses to "Knock Off BMW i3 Is Hideous"
  1. Itamar says:

    looks like a larger version of one of those cars for kids

    1. James says:


      Uglier certainly

  2. Goaterguy says:

    And the original i3 is beautiful?!

    1. jilljill says:

      I think This Is a Big Improvement! It’s More than Likely A “Fraction of the BMW Price” $$$..& I bet the FRUNK Is Sealed & doesn’t Get Dust, Water & Leaves in it Either., & Probably Safer To Drive..

      1. ELROY says:

        Yeah and it probably didnt win the top 5 Cnet award or countless others that the i3 won for technological innovation. Of course you are more concerned about a frunk that doesn’t even exist in 99% of today’s cars…so go figure.

        1. jilljill says:

          BMW is an “IMAGE” Brain Wash Company & SEllS Expensive “JUNK” … N0 BMW owner will Fess Up To that! But I Will!….You Couldn’t give Me 0NE! Had My Fill With The Few I Owned., & Never Again .. Nice Day……Look at Me !

        2. Goaterguy says:

          What do the Chevrolet Corvair, Chevrolet Vega, Ford Mustang II,and the Chrysler Cirrus have in common?
          All were named Motor Trend car of the year! Being named best of something by a few non automotive or even automotive magazines or websites, means nothing other than the magazine or website wants to sell hype.

          1. jilljill says:

            Thank You Goaterguy !….

      2. CDAVIS says:

        @jilljill said: “I think This Is a Big Improvement!”

        Lol. Really?

        There is much about the Chinese culture to admire but its modern complete void of original ideas and blatant willingness to copy (steal) others IP is stunning in its degree. It’s so over-the-top that really its more comical than sad.

        Jinma vs BMW i3:

        1. storky says:

          They obviously spent tens of hours in research in development.

        2. Mart says:

          Wait until you see the Chinese copy of the old East German Trabant. hahaha

        3. Lensman says:


          It’s not China-bashing, but simply fact to note that modern China has serious problems with lack of real invention/innovation, and that the strong cultural trend towards copying/stealing technology from other countries is self-defeating. This is a serious problem which will need to see real change before Chinese make cars can compete on the world market.

          1. leaf owner says:

            BINGO – the #1 thing Chinese engineers do is try to do the same thing cheaper — and most (if not all) of the time they are willing to sacrifice quality.

      3. Priusmaniac says:

        It has 4 doors and get rid of that wood in cabin. But size sucks even more.

      4. Lensman says:

        “…Probably Safer To Drive.”

        A Chinese make car safer than a BMW? Umm…

        That’s like suggesting the molehill is taller than the mountain.

  3. M Hovis says:

    Not what I would consider a true i3 knock off, but without a doubt some direct mimics as pointed out in the article.

    It just kept getting worse as I read of the lead acid batteries until I got to the price of $4020!

    You have to appreciate that only 10 years ago, the vast majority of the 2 billion Chinese population used a bicycle as their primary source of transportation. If the battery makes it 3-5 years, this EV has done its job.

    We have witnessed disposable electronics for some time now. This one may have just moved the bar. The longer I look, the more it hurts.

    1. Goaterguy says:

      I was in Xiangyang China last month on a work assignment and it is incredible how much construction and development is around. Many drive electric scooters and tuk tuks around all running on lead acid batteries.
      Lead acid batteries are still a big business and are not going away anytime soon.

    2. jilljill says:

      If they were to Put Lithium Batteries , That thing Will Go @ Least 500 Miles On One Charge! Think about that!

  4. David Murray says:

    I don’t see any benefit to lead-acid batteries at this point. A few years ago, I might have said yes. But the price of lithium has fallen so much, to be honest, I’m surprised auto makers haven’t started using them in place of 12V starting batteries.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      For any car company to use lead acid batteries in 2015 there has to be a reason, and I’m guessing it’s price. I can’t think of a technical reason (weight, performance, etc.) to prefer lead acid over lithium, so the only other part of the cost/benefit ratio is cost.

      I would point out that if lead acid batteries are readily available but lithium packs are much tougher to acquire for legal or infrastructure reasons, then lithium packs are effectively more expensive than their price might indicate.

      1. Alonso Perez says:

        The Model S 12V battery is lead-acid too.

        We are talking about a car designed from scratch.

        Yet, it uses numerous standard automotive components, running on 12V. Replacing lead acid for this task is probably harder than it looks.

      2. Ryan says:

        The first Tesla Roadster used the main pack to power 12v systems but they later added a lead acid 12v battery to the 2.0 and 2.5 models… with the Model S also having a lead-acid battery there must be a good reason lol

        1. Lensman says:

          The reason is to prevent “bricking” of the main battery pack, which was a problem with a few early Roadsters, but never in the Model S. So far as I know, all robust BEVs powered by li-ion batteries have a 12V lead-acid starter battery for this purpose. (With “robust” I exclude most cars made in China.)

          But it may not be long before we see auto makers moving to using li-ion for the starter battery, too.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          This insideev article mention A123 for 12 v Lithium batteries:

          And in the comments 2 others have been mentioned:

          So it is possible if the desire to do so is there. In an ev the higher cost is likely at least partially compensate by a lower weight.

    2. Lensman says:

      David Murray said:

      “I don’t see any benefit to lead-acid batteries at this point.”

      From the viewpoint of a manufacturer in a country which is still halfway stuck in the status of third-world low-tech, it’s certainly a lot easier and faster to design a car using lead-acid batteries, which don’t need a BMS (Battery Management System) like a li-ion pack does. It also lets them sell it at a lower cost.

      Long term, of course, the li-ion battery pack wins hands down. But in a boom market like China, long term considerations may appear unimportant for the seller, and perhaps for the buyer too.

  5. RS says:

    Well it is ugly, but for $4000, thats ok. Show me any motorized car-thing you could buy for less than that with 4 seats. A car like this brings you to work cheaper than a scooter and is only a fraction more expensive. And you can bring your spouse, your one legal kid and your illegal one. I have heard there is lots of competition for these cheap LSEVs and standing out of the crowd, might help.

    1. Goaterguy says:

      Even if there is no second kid, many live with their parents too. As a Latino living in the US, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how family stays together much closer in China during my last trip there.

  6. leptoquark says:

    This actually wouldn’t be terribly bad in a giant city, like Chengdu. You could live with 30 mph.

  7. Kosh says:

    If cars had genetic errors……

  8. Anon says:

    Cute Chinese NEV.

    I like how they left the plastic wrap on the seats. Quality. 😉

  9. Speculawyer says:

    I can’t believe they actually wanted to copy the i3!

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      I guess there is even a copy of the copy. (With pedals.)

      We haven’t seen a copy of the Model S though but since that car is so good even a copy would likely be not too bad in comparison with a standard gasoline car.

  10. MDEV says:

    They look similar, like a model entry version of the i3 line. Both cars are realy ugly.

    1. Nonda Trimis says:


  11. Speculawyer says:

    At least the people in the back can get out of the car when the driver farts.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      That is the good old rule that the copier version is often better since he doesn’t copy the originals mistakes.

  12. Spider-Dan says:

    Well, if it’s hideous, then I’d say they did a pretty good job of copying the original!

  13. Nix says:

    What? Not a single comment about the “door gaps”???? What has this world come to?


  14. Bill Howland says:

    InsideEv’s is picking on our Chinese friends again. $4000 isnt bad t all if it works. Those Polaris GEMS, or whomever owns them now (there have been several owners) are not as good a value at twice the price.

  15. Robert says:

    Oh dear…
    Not exactly up to the knockoff Evoque spec is it!