New BMW i3 Videos – Backbone & Reduce


Backbone.  That would be the BMW i3’s carbon fiber.

“The BMW i3 is the first mass-production vehicle made with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), a revolutionary material half the weight of steel and just as strong.”

Reduce. The sustainability pitch…again.

“Four onsite wind turbines power the BMW i3 factory in Leipzig, Germany, and the carbon fiber in its frame is made in a hydroelectric-powered plant in Moses Lake, Washington.”

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16 Comments on "New BMW i3 Videos – Backbone & Reduce"

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What good is all that technology and lightweight material if the BMW I3 can only get 81 miles per charge? The Nissan Leaf gets 84 miles per charge. The Kia Soul gets 93 miles per charge.

Assuming you really do care how “green” a car is, ane you actually watched the video:
The BMW has a smaller battery, is more efficient, and has more sustainable manufacturing processes. There is a reason it won Green car of the year award.

And again, it would leave the Kia and Leaf in the dust in acceleration for those that care about having a fun car also.

But….It’s A BMW ..Or Maybe Just A “BM”

The BMW i3 is more efficient, but not more fun, and it is a lot more expensive. The steering is too sensitive. The car jumps back and forth to every little touch of the steering wheel at high speeds. It is too twitchy. That was my experience.

That’s funny, I drove all of them, and the BMW was by far the most fun to drive. Sure, less stable on the freeway, but then on the other side, sharpest turning radius in its class. Remember, you have to haul around that heavy A** battery whether you need it or not. Whether it is charged or depleted. So besides costs, there are reasons for not just piling on the battery capacity. I mean, you have some Volt Owners who almost never use gas, and they are making do with much less EV mileage. So I guess GM’s studies are flawed about the average daily mileage needs of their target customer? Cost? Why don’t we talk value.. When you can lease an almost $50K i3 for two hundred and something a month, that is a pretty good value. Just as exceptional as any of the other EVs on the market. And if you are one that believes you will constantly have unanticipated long range detours, get the range extended. And if you need to drive hundreds of miles a day, the EV probably isn’t for you. Funny how most of the experts, and their awards, have spoken…but some of the… Read more »

Well on a pragmatic tone, the Leaf has five seating places instead of only four. It has somewhat more trunk space too. It is cheaper than the BMW. On performance you actually need a car for daily life not to show up at Daytona. True the i3 has a rex and that is indeed the missing option in the Leaf. Otherwise steal and a somewhat larger battery is pretty much ok and a less luxury brand as well if it makes the price come down. The Volt is lower in price but again only seats four or four and a half in the new one. The Volt is also over engined since it literally sits on two drive trains. It also has a too small ev range. So we are still waiting for an ev with full size trunk and rex that seats 5, has normal performance and is affordable from a non luxury brand.

Elroy, you mentioned the BMW i3 Range Extender and the merits of owning one of those. That car should not be on the road. It’s a safety hazard. We go back-and-forth about the value of the i3, costs versus value, which is more fun to drive, the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3. A lot of this is opinion generated and it comes down to personal taste among my fellow EV enthusiast. At the end of the day we will agree to disagree. John MB even mentioned that the BMW I3 is as roomy on the inside as the Tesla model S. I got a good laugh out of that. But when it comes to BMW i3 Rex, that car doesn’t give you more. It gives you unfulfilled expectations. That car dies on you on the highway unexpectedly and it’s just a matter of time when someone is going to get seriously hurt. I have driven on the highways of most of this country (us) and the only places that I can think of where this car can continually die on someone and there be no repercussions is on rural Roads. Someone loses power in the middle of a highway… Read more »
There is a learning curve for a few of the i3 driving innovations and features. Handling at first was sensitive after driving a ICE SUV for years but now no problem. The regenerative braking seemed unusual at first but now it’s second nature and I love it. I had to laugh at a recent reviewer who called it jerky. Perky is an understatement..I love the pick-up almost didn’t buy a BEV when first drove a Leaf but all that changed with 3 day in a BMW i3. Range was EXACTLY what I needed 90 miles on local streets..perfect for my driving needs. Almost didn’t buy a BEV when Leaf saleman talked about need for 220 electric service. After 3 days with BMW i3 I learned level one charging is all I needed for a fully charged BMW i3 every morning.. Almost didn’t buy a BEV after driving a Tesla and had sticker shock. BMW i3 fully loaded for $38k! I now own a BMW i3, and love it. Love the four door design, the turning radius, great visibility all around and handling is great (oh I said that already), and it’s as roomy as that Model S. Most of all… Read more »

Sorry but I could care less about how efficient a battery is or how green it was to build it. The things that matter is range, how it charges & how much money the car will save me over a ice car.

I disagree. Efficiency has intrinsic value, not unlike beauty. It’s worth something.

Robert, I do agree with you. Some people will pay any amount of money, as long as it has a BMW badge on the hood. That is not rational.

All that engineering and the all-steel i-MiEV weighs less and gets better NCAP crash test results. Likely cheaper to repair too.

So they’re using wind power in the factory? Great. What about transporting the carbon fiber bits from Washington state to Germany BY NASTY, POLLUTING BOAT. Then they ship the cars back to the US (and Washington state) BY NASTY, POLLUTING BOAT.

Aaron, Well Put ! Agreed., It’s all A Load Of “BS” & Bad BM’s From Bavaria. l o l

I’ve tried the the dull looking Leaf and not bad- but not cutting edge technology. I saw the eGolf and learned that they weren’t being sold in my town so I ended up with the BMW i3. I’ve been told that’s a lot of money for a car- but aside from that it’s fun to drive, practice and with my solar power system at home- it hasn’t cost me anything to run. I’m fortunate to own and drive one.

. What I do love is the startled faces of drivers as they find me half way down the block and they are just crossing the intersection…what I love about this car is its nimble handling and maneuverability on the road..what I love about this car is how QUIET is drives with the slight whirring sound like a jet engine taking off..what I love about this car are the rear doors that make it so convenient for access to the rear seats..what I love about this car is that I’m getting 4.5 miles for each kWh I use and …what I love bout this car is how I drive this car free powered by my solar panels… who gives a rat what it looks like to others; it is the car of the future driven today!

Here we go again… 1) “…Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), a revolutionary material half the weight of steel and just as strong.” It can’t possibly be half the weight in this application, or the car would be much lighter. A quick analysis shows that, normalized for the size of the vehicle, the i3 is only about 80 kg, or ~ 6%, lighter than the Leaf, which is only about half of what the weight savings would be if the body weighed 50% less. And this doesn’t take into account the smaller battery in the i3, or any of the other lightweighting they have done. It looks, from this (admittedly rough) analysis, like the i3 body system weighs about the same as that of the normalized Leaf. 2) “Four onsite wind turbines power the BMW i3 factory in Leipzig, Germany, and the carbon fiber in its frame is made in a hydroelectric-powered plant in Moses Lake, Washington.” While the installation of wind turbines at the assembly plant is laudable, assembly emissions account for only about 3-5% of the total emissions of a BEV, so the reduction is relatively small. And the fact that the CF is made in Moses Lake does… Read more »