Top 5 Must-Have Features For Future Fully Electric BMW

MAY 16 2015 BY STAFF 16

BMW i3

BMW i3

The future is coming. With many manufacturers building or considering fully electric sedans, BMW will need to follow suit. While an all-electric sedan has yet to be confirmed, we do know that BMW is planning a series of plug-in hybrids featuring the new eDrive system. A third BMW i model is scheduled to appear post-2020.

So if BMW decides to launch an EV sedan, what would be the must haves for the car? We came up with five different items BMW needs to have in the fully electric sedan. It’s something we’ve experienced in ICE powered vehicles, along with other items specific to electric vehicles.

BMW i3 Cahrging

BMW i3 Charging

1. A 300 Kilometer Range

This equates to around 180 miles and it would allow a standard users more driving autonomy than they would need. This range would be double of the current fully electric BMW i3 and significantly more if you add the range extender system. It’s the range that gives you the opportunity to explore parts of your country – without getting into a tight spot with remaining battery power. So in Germany, 3 Series owners could now take their electric BMW all the way to Adriatic Coast on two charges.

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



2. All-Wheel Drive

BMW 428i xDrive Gran Coupe images 18 750×499 5 Things A Future Fully Electric BMW Needs

While you might not consider this as a must for an ell-electric sedan, plenty owners would love to drive their EV in any kind of weather. Tesla does it now with the P85D and it’s becoming a selling point for them. The AWD would not only provide all-weather safety, but it will also provide better grip and mind boggling 0-62mph times. Imagine a sedan with over 600 horsepower, instant torque and no loss of traction once you floor the pedal.

BMW i3

BMW i3

3. Advanced Infotainment System

This might be well implemented into current BMWs, but let’s mention it anyway since improvements can be made. The 2015 CES revealed some of the latest advancements in cabin technology and BMW is at the forefront of those. From touch screen surfaces, to gestures-based input and smartwatch features, to trip planning, OTA updates and cloud-based connectivity, BMW has its A game planned for the future. While not all these features are a must in electric vehicles, some of them could be prove to be quite beneficial to increase the range of your car or automate certain functions.

Wireless Charging

Wireless Charging

4. Alternative ways to charge the car

At 2015 CES, BMW presented an alternative solution to charge your electric vehicle: inductive – i.e. wireless – battery charging. Inductive charging provides reliable, wear-free and user-friendly EV battery charging using a magnetic field, without the need for a hard-wired connection between the vehicle and the power source. The electricity is transmitted without cables or contacts across a gap of several centimeters, at a charge rate of 3.3 kW. The high-voltage battery of the BMW i8 can be fully recharged in less than two hours using this system – which is approximately the same amount of time required with a wired connection. Future inductive charging systems with a higher charge rate of 7 kW will also allow the larger batteries of all-electric vehicles, such as the BMW i3, to be fully recharged overnight.

Now imagine this, initially expensive technology, being installed in public parking garages, and you can see why the adoption of EVs is direct related to an advanced infrastructure.

BMW i3 With Collision Avoidance

BMW i3 With Collision Avoidance

5. Autonomous functions

Self-driving features and autonomous functions are a must in the next generation of electric vehicles. BMW has previewed earlier this year an experimental i3 with self-driving and self-parking features. And while those are cool, we’re more excited about the next generation of collision avoidance systems which not only improve the quality of driving, but it also helps reduce collisions. The Valet Parking Assistant is just as cool and would make for a neat feature to show off while out in the town

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16 Comments on "Top 5 Must-Have Features For Future Fully Electric BMW"

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I always sort of though inductive charging was a waste when it came to home charging. I don’t really feel that it is really that inconvenient to reach to the wall and plugin. Having said that I could see the utility of inductive charging for public L2 charging situations. The obvious benefit would be a more user friendly experience for the customer. Since all new EVs come with touchscreens it wouldn’t be much of a challenge to have a wireless connection from the pad to the customer’s screen. Then the customer could simply pull into the space and bring up their charging window. The car’s operating system could be designed to accept different brand’s apps so you could simply pay over your screen with your account or even a credit card like any internet purchase. Then you wouldn’t find yourself in bright sunlight trying to see the dim screen for instructions or in the driving rain fumbling with the charger cord. You could take your time in the comfort of your conditioned car to start your charging session with a few taps of the screen. Also I’ve come across more than a few defective touchscreens on chargers rendering them useless.… Read more »


In other words, BMW should copy every thing what Tesla cars already has as standards, except retractable door handles and falcon wing doors.

There was good point that non-AWD electric cars do not make any sense in any price category because AWD electric cars not only have superior handling and acceleration, but also longer range due to higher efficiency and more even tyre wear, because torque is distributed evenly for all wheels. AWD electric cars are actually cheaper than RWD or FWD electric cars.

Tesla has 2 out of the 5 points. What Tesla might have in the future and what they have today are two different things.

But with that said, if BMW would copy Tesla that would be great, at least when it comes to range.

I would’ve put “not be stupid looking” on that list. We know they have the ability.

BMW needs a weatherproof Funk that does not double as a “composter”.

Also, what is “Cahrging”? 😉

You’re incahrgible. 😉

What’s a “Funk”? Good point about it needing to be weatherproof though, I’d rather have none at all than what they implemented.

Yes on 1 and 2 but no on the others (make them options). Thinking of the mass market (and not of techy early adopters) I’d make this future i sedan as awesome (performance, style, luxury) yet as simple as possible.

I don’t know why the car industry continues to overly complicate their cars (not just ICE). What’s the point of some fancy feature if you can’t easily use it, turn it on/off, it costs more to maintain, and breaks after a few years? It makes you wonder. It seems like a mass rush to cram as many “features” into a modern car as possible. Some features are great and easy-to-use; others not so much.

Just make the i sedan world-class on performance, style, and luxury. I don’t need it to connect to my toaster.

1 Range
2 Range
3 Range
4 Both CHAdeMo & CCS DC charging
5 Wireless charging

Their List:
1. A 300 Kilometer Range,
2. All-Wheel Drive,
3. Advanced Infotainment System,
4. Alternative ways to charge the car,
5. Autonomous functions.

My List, almost like Bob Said:
1. A 320 Kilometer Range (A full 200 miles);
2. All-Wheel Drive (For Winter/Efficiency, Tesla only has 1 car left with single Motor drive – the 85, the rest are now all Dual Motor/All Wheel Drive);
3. Advanced Nav/Trip Planning System, with Free/Best Charger Location Seek, Other aspects, optional;
4. Base 6.6 kW AC charging & Option of 10 kW & Wireless + Base CHAdeMO & Option Supercharger & CCS DC charging (So choice is in customers hands, and their location will dictate options);
5. Traffic Light Management, Traffic Flow Tracking, Auto Braking/Lane Change Accident Avoidance, Adaptive Cruise/Creep (Active down to 0 Mph, for ‘Rush Hour’, and up to Maximum Speed Limits in the area, [Above Speed Limits, should be Driver control only, not cruise]).

Agree with 1 and 4 but add a deal with Tesla for supercharger access and still keep the rex option. So yes that supercharger rex and induction charging capability, not too much at all. But in BMW’s case main of all provide a true series 3 sized vehicle with everything usually expected but only an ev propulsion as a difference.

Imagine a sedan with over 600 horsepower, instant torque and the need to buy new tires 4 times per year!

Yeah, #1 was the only one that mattered to me.

The rest . . . meh . . . whatever. Provide them as options.

My list would be a lot simpler.

1) More range (150 miles minimum).
2) More range (150 miles minimum).
3) Fast charging capability standard.
4) Active liquid thermal management for the battery.
5) Sticker price under $35K before incentives.

Good design is nice, but I’d sacrifice it a bit if it had the above three items. Infotainment is not a priority; getting somewhere more easily is. Likewise with autonomous features; nice, but not even close to a deal-breaker.

Did I mention more range at an affordable price?

“Top 5 Features …”, wait – ‘Price’ is a Feature?

OK – Lower Cost per Mile Range > Lower Total Cost