Pure Electric BMW i8 In The Works?


BMW i8 Celebration Edition Protonic Red

BMW i8 Celebration Edition Protonic Red

BMW i8 (Individual Exterior Paint Programme)

BMW i8 (Individual Exterior Paint Programme)

It’s being reported that BMW is currently working on a pure electric i8 prototype. If the finished product is deemed a success, then the next-generation i8 may be electric-only.

According to Autocar:

“The secret programme will give the i8 a significantly larger battery and a trio of new high-revving electric motors in place of the hybrid system it uses today.”

“The plan is for the electric-powered i8 — which may be pressed into action as a successor to the current i8-based Formula E safety car next year — to be based around the carbonfibre structure developed for the BMW i division’s fuel cell prototype, revealed last year. In order to house a series of cylindrical tanks used to stow hydrogen, it features a wider centre tunnel than the structure employed by the standard i8.”

Hydrogen Fuel Cell BMW i8

Hydrogen Fuel Cell BMW i8

The area in which the tanks reside today will be reportedly replaced by a larger battery pack.

The prototype, pure electric i8 is expected to weigh the same as today’s road-going i8 and will have a range of 400 km/249 miles (NEDC), which would translate to about 280km/175 miles of “real world” driving range.

Autocar adds:

“Power for the new fourwheel-drive i8 prototype will come from three new brushless electric motors. One will be mounted up front and two at the rear in the space usually taken up by the existing i8’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Developed by BMW, the motors are claimed to operate at a much higher internal speed than the production units used by the production i8.”

Total power output is unknown, but “insiders” claim each motor can put out 268 HP on its own.

This pure electric i8 is still a ways off though, that is if it ever even makes it to production. Prior to the launch of this electric i8, a heavily modified plug-in hybrid i8 will go on sale sometime next year.

Source: Autocar

Categories: BMW

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20 Comments on "Pure Electric BMW i8 In The Works?"

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“Power for the new fourwheel-drive i8 prototype will come from three new brushless electric motors.”

So why do people still say brushless? This doesn’t tell much about the used motors. I guess they will use synchronous motors. But Tesla for instance uses asynchronous motors, which are brushless too.

Well it’s also gluten free, but they didn’t say it.
Just no insight meaning I agree.

I’d buy this in a second. It’s the only low slung electric car for whose looks I would put up with the awkwardness of egress. Sorry, Model S and 3.

It’s more interesting to me than the gas version of the i8, but until they fix all the issues (for example, opening the hood), and severely lower the price, it’s not on my radar.

It’s inferior to Model S in so many ways.
Most reviews complain vehemently about it’s many shortcomings, though price is probably the biggest one.

Maybe next Tesla Roadster will come at the same time around 2019? If so this will maybe be a great competitor.

That would be much cooler than the current oil burner.

That I believe to be correct. For one thing you would not have to pipe any fake engine noise.

As dumb as it seems I wouldn’t assume that wouldn’t still be an option.

So, 2020? Never? I don’t know where they are going to put ~50 kWh in there it’s pretty tight as it is…

I think BMW should become a fully electric car company, and change the meaning of their name:

Battery, Motor, Wheels


Saw a new corvette at the dealer today and my daughter says “that would be an awesome car if it was electric….

It’s your daughter that’s awesome..and the children shall lead them.

175 miles is plenty for a car like this. I don’t think anyone would want to drive across country in an i8.

To be honest, though.. I’d rather see them downside the gas engine and upsize the battery in the current design. Give it 50 miles of range in EV mode.

Samsung SDI in latest Beijing Motor Show introduced the newest 50 Ah cells for PHEVS, they have the same volume and made to replace the older ones. If the BMW i8 got it’s 20 Ah cells replaced with 50 Ah cells it would get 17,76 kWh battery (96 x 50 Ah x 3,7 V) enough for the full Federal EV tax credit of $7.500. Automakers still use batteries as excuse to make bad electric cars, but isn’t a valid one now with the kWh cost below $150 and energy density above 700 Wh/L. The cell manufacturers are more than willing to sell great EV battery, traditional automakers just pretend they don’t exist yet… Fortunately Tesla Motors exist and uses the best human technology available, not Martian, to prove that good electric cars are possible. With the Gigafactory starting cell production in November, it will reach 800 Wh/L and $120 per kWh. at the cell level. This makes every car that isn’t electric a nonsense and many countries will start to finally ban them. Only when traditional automakers are prohibit to sell gas cars, they will get serious about making and selling good electric cars. We shouldn’t be giving incentives to… Read more »

I’m a bit disappointed. If BMW wants to make i8 a BEV, that’s great. But then they should re-engineer it properly – not just fill the space meant for a fool cell drive line with batteries and call it quits.

It’s really simple: A skateboard design is obviously superior, so without it you can’t make a BEV that’s also the “ultimate driving machine”.

The i8 sits way too low for a skateboard design. People often complain about the Volt not using a skateboard and simply don’t understand that the car sits too low. Skateboard is fine for a larger sedan or an SUV, even a pickup truck. It won’t work for sports cars.

True,the skateboard platform is great but not the best for every car. The T shape battery allows lower height, therefore better efficiency/aerodynamics.

Pedro, David, in the T design, the head of the T stretches the car, and the Vertical body of the T pushes the interior seats apart, pushing occupants closer to the T-Bone impact zone, as well.

Tesla builds their skateboard pack with the cells vertical, but they could also be placed laying down, lengthwise along the fore-aft direction, and build a thinner pack that can be customised for height based on the number of cell layers desiered for power or energy.

“the Vertical body of the T pushes the interior seats apart”

Have you been in a Volt? The seats are close enough together that I WISH there were more room between them.

My Mazda3 had more elbow room…My wife’s civic had about the same amount of elbow room…

The only thing it doesn’t have is a super deep compartment below the arm rest.