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Spotlight

MBW i3

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 17:14

Moving silently through Mexico City’s hectic traffic, feeling the car slow down as the inverter charges the battery when you lift your foot off the throttle, and surprising other drivers with its impressive acceleration are all part of the unique experience of driving a BMW i3. It is obvious that electric cars offer a new driving concept, and BMW is well on its way to unlocking the future of the city car.

Changing the powertrain of a car impacts its appearance, and stepping into a BMW i3 is like entering a completely new world. The absence of a gearbox in the middle of the car creates a sensation of space and comfort that no combustion vehicle can offer. Additionally, BMW planned the i3’s design carefully to avoid placing batteries in obstructive locations. Furthermore, every control is positioned to offer easy access to the driver, with the right amount of controls to be stylish, elegant, and functional. An additional plus is the use of natural and sustainable raw materials used in the interior. About 25% of the materials come from recycled products or renewable sources, and the fibers used for the seats are 100% recycled.

Given that there is no neutral state with an electric motor, you can experience the car’s full torque just by pushing the accelerator. Similarly, the absence of gas injection and emissions from the engine means that there is practically no noise inside or outside the cabin. To an experienced driver that might be slightly unsettling, but the car is perfectly capable of delivering its 170hp at a maximum speed of 150km/h. Braking is an experience with this car too. Because of its electric motor, the vehicle begins to brake automatically when the accelerator is released, recovering energy the vehicle has just consumed.

Obviously, with a full electric vehicle, the question that everyone is asking is how far you can go with it. However, there is no need to worry about the range of the BMW i3. Without a range extender, the car is capable of driving up to 160km, making it perfect for urban trips. Furthermore, the i3 comes with an ECO PRO and ECO PRO+ driving setup, which allow the car to reach 200km with full energy economization. In terms of charging, BMW offers an optional Wallbox to be installed at home, providing a full charge in approximately three hours ,depending on the grid conditions. In addition, each i3 comes with an emergency cable adaptable to any plug, which can charge the car in a 16- hour period. While this offers a complete charging coverage for most situations, BMW, in collaboration with Schneider Electric and other companies, has installed several charging points throughout the city that is currently free of charge to BMW users. The navigation system of the new i3 has also been designed to offer the best routes in terms of distance and traffic, taking into consideration the driving style of the user and the available energy in the vehicle. Furthermore, it has the capability of searching for the closest rapid-charging point in case of a charging emergency