Track Video Shows BMW i3 Motor In Action

SEP 17 2015 BY MICHAEL BEINENSON 16

BMW i3 Motor

BMW i3 Motor

We often forget the electric vehicles have a motor at all. They accelerate at a touch of pedal with almost little or no noise. But have you ever seen how the electric motor behaves in extreme conditions?

BMW i3 has the motor located in the back, providing a rare (most EVs are front wheel drive) rear wheel drive experience. The i3 has a 170 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque motor, that is a lot of power to propel a 3,000 pound vehicle.

This video was taken during a BMW CCA Peachtree Chapter Autocross Series race with back cover removed. For those that do not know the difference between a BEV and a REX, the empty space is designed to accommodate the range extender engine. To everyone’s surprise the motor not only moves with the drivetrain in two directions, it also moves laterally, absorbing a lot of forces and making the driving experience a lot more pleasant.

The video also confirms the stresses on the motor mount bolts are enormous and in some instances causes them to fail.

If you like to have a bit of fun with your EV, find a local BMW CCA chapter and see what they have to offer. Most chapters allow non BMW vehicles on the course and it is fun to compete against other EVs.

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16 Comments on "Track Video Shows BMW i3 Motor In Action"

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I’d love to see this type of view of the Nissan LEAF. The motor in mine is being replaced as I’m typing this (reduction gear has been replaced already), and I’m wondering just how complex of a procedure this is.

Hell Above? Reduction gear replacement?! What did you possibly do to do that. It’s impressive! And I’m not going to ask what happened to the motor.

Now I really want to know!

A clicking issue that won’t go away. They have tried everything, so hopefully this will fix it.

Wow.. I would have never guessed the motor was allowed to move that much!

Same here, that looks umm… concerning?

How is it concerning? If many of BMW’s top engineers think it’s safe, then who are we to question them?

Man, that thing spins so fast it is scary. How many RPMs does it do?

~10,000 RPM

Nii-ice vid! Thanks! (I’m autocross challenged, cones too small, so thanks for showing the course).

Amazing what that motor endures..

Whoah I completely forgot about sharing this one! No kidding how blocked the pipe for these are!

There is another video with the REX

And yes we can here the REX, since the pannel has been removed, so don’t go nuts on “OMG it’s so noisy”. It’s not.

” (most EVs are front wheel drive) ”
The Mitsibushi iMiev, all Tesla models, and the Smart ED are rear wheel drive and also have the motor in the rear. What’s really rare is a front motor but RWD vehicle like a converted S-10 or Miata. Even the production S10e was front wheel drive using the EV-1 drivetrain. The production Ford Ranger and US Electricar S-10 were RWD though.

Here’s video of the i-MiEV’s very soft motor mount.

Looks normal to me. I mean, if a normal ICE does this, why is it any big surprise an electric motor does?

I agree. The electric motor moves around like that because the motor mount is engineered to reduce NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) in the i3, just like the engine mount in every ICE car.

“The video also confirms the stresses on the motor mount bolts are enormous and in some instances causes them to fail.”

Have the motor mount bolts on the i3 actually failed, and how common is this failure?