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Posts Tagged ‘bmw i3’

BMW Planning at Least Two More “i” Models, But What Then?

Other battery models may now go to mainstream BMW brand.

by on Oct.17, 2016

The i8 Spyder concept will likely undergo significant changes before the Roadster debuts in 2018.

BMW will launch two more models for its cutting-edge i brand over the next five years, starting with a 2018 roadster based on the next-generation i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. A version of the iNext concept vehicle will follow three years later.

That falls well short of the broad, electrified product line-up the maker had hinted was in the works only a few years ago, however. There are no signs of the i4 and i5 models that some sources once reported were in the works.

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Is BMW just keeping them under tight wraps? Have they been abandoned? Or has the maker simply shifted strategy, preferring to put more of its battery-based models – including pure electric and plug-in hybrids – into the mainstream BMW brand, rather than into the niche i marque?


LA City Workers Getting 100 BMWs

Staffers to drive i3s hoping to cut costs, smog.

by on Jun.09, 2016

Soon Los Angeles will see 100 more i3s buzzing the streets with city employees at the wheel.

It might seem like a lavish perk for a city worker to be driving a BMW, but the 100 German cars the City of Los Angeles will soon take delivery of aren’t ordinary BMWs.

They’re the little i3 battery-electric vehicles the Bavarian maker is producing in a bid to become a leader in the emerging market for sustainable automobiles. Los Angeles, in turn, has been pushing to become a more environmentally friendly city, even considering ways to add battery-powered police cars and motorcycles to its fleet.

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“In the next three to four years, we will learn from the technology and use the opportunity to work with car manufacturers and design a robust high-performance patrol electric vehicle,” Vartan Yegiyan, director of the city’s police transportation office, said at a news conference. “That’s our aim.” (more…)

BMW Updates i3, Adds More Range

But is 114 miles per charge enough?

by on May.02, 2016

BMW has bumped the range of the 2017 i3 up to as much as 114 miles thanks to a larger battery pack.

BMW is the latest automaker hoping to charge up the sluggish battery-car market by boosting the range of its little electric city car, the i3.

While the 2017 model won’t match the range of the new Chevrolet Bolt or upcoming Tesla Model 3, BMW claims it will still deliver up to 114 miles per charge, or 58% more driving distance thanks to a larger lithium-ion battery. That jumps to more than 200 miles if you order a 2017 BMW i3 equipped with the optional, range-extending two-cylinder gas engine – the update model also getting a larger fuel tank.

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Though performance numbers won’t change for the upcoming model-year, the BMW i3 will remain one of the market’s quicker battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, launching from 0 to 60 in just 7.2 seconds.


Automakers Expanding Car-Sharing Programs – with Emphasis on Green Cars

Jaguar goes InMotion; Hyundai shares hydrogen cars in Germany.

by on Apr.11, 2016

The fuel-cell version of the Hyundai Tucson will be offered through the new BeeZero car-sharing program in Munich.

Wondering what it’s like to drive a fuel-cell vehicle? For now, only a handful of qualified buyers living in a handful of communities in Southern California, Japan and Europe can find out, due to the limited availability of hydrogen and the low number of vehicles capable of using that super-clean fuel.

But if a new venture starting up in Munich, Germany is any indication, lots more motorists will get the chance to test drive hydrogen cars in the near future. And similar car-sharing programs opening up everywhere from Beijing to Indianapolis are offering motorists the opportunity to try out battery-cars like the Smart Electric Drive.

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While only a small percentage of motorists have yet signed up to participate in car-sharing programs like ZipCar, Car2Go, BlueIndy or BeeZero – the latter offering Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles in Munich, industry analysts anticipate rapid growth in the coming years. And a growing number of automakers are looking to participate in a potentially industry-transformative shift.


Pricing Wars: Plug-in Hybrid, EV Prices Dropping

Makers cutting lease payments on vehicles.

by on Mar.26, 2015

BMW recently cut the lease price on its electric i3 model to $239 a month. The maker isn't alone in reducing prices.

Gas prices aren’t the only prices dropping these days. Automakers are cutting prices on their electric vehicles.

Despite strong sales early on, BMW recently announced buyers can lease an i3 for as low as $239 a month. However, just after that, Honda put out a new $199 lease for its Fit EV subcompact. The new lease price is a $60 a month cut from its previous offer of $259 a month.


It’s not just the leases prices. Heading into this year, Ford announced it was cutting the price of its Focus battery electric vehicle as well: by $6,000. The new starting price is $29,995 before any federal, state or local incentives are applied, which can cut the final price as much as $7,500. It was the second time the automaker cut the price on the Focus. It cut it $4,000 in 2013 hoping to drive sales then. (more…)

Tap the Watch to Call Your Car

BMW shows off auto-park valet and 360-degree collision avoidance.

by on Dec.16, 2014

With BMW's Auto Park Valet, tap your smartwatch and the little i3 quickly comes to pick you up.

You’ve finished dinner on the town and are ready to head home for the night. But instead of handing the valet your ticket you tap the screen of your smartwatch and a couple moments later your new BMW i3 automatically pulls up to the restaurant door, the cabin already warm and cozy.

That’s the idea behind the maker’s Remote Valet Parking Assistant concept, one of several new technologies the Bavarian maker is developing that it will preview at the Consumer Electronics Show early next month.

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The new 360-degree collision avoidance system, meanwhile, uses a variety of scanners to prevent all sorts of collisions – making BMW the latest in a growing line of automakers to explore “the possibility of entirely collision-free driving.”


Tesla May Collaborate with BMW

Makers could share batteries, carbon-fiber components.

by on Nov.24, 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent TV appearance.

(This story has been revised to reflect comments by BMW.)

Battery-carmaker Tesla Motors has begun discussing a possible collaboration with Germany’s BMW AG, according to the U.S. company’s CEO Elon Musk.

The two makers are discussing the use of sharing batteries and the lightweight components that can help improve vehicle range. The news comes a month after Germany’s Daimler AG sold off its 4% stake in Tesla.

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“We are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations,” Musk said in an interview with the German news weekly Der Spiegel.


BMW i3 Named Green Car of the Year

“Validation” of a breakthrough concept.

by on Nov.20, 2014

BMW's Tom Plucinsky,left, accepts the Green Car of the Year award from Green Car Journal's Ron Cogan.

Squaring off with four tough – but environmentally friendly – competitors, the BMW i3 claimed victory as the Green Car of the Year, an award the maker says “validates” the costly development program behind the breakthrough battery-electric vehicle.

The i3 is the smaller and more affordable of two new battery-based vehicles being offered by the German maker’s new brand-within-a-brand, BMW i. It is offered as either a pure battery-electric vehicle, or with an optional range-extending internal combustion engine that automatically fires up when the batteries run down.

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The i3 “breaks the mold” not only with its battery drive system but by bringing the use of lightweight carbon fiber down to the mainstream, said Ron Cogan, the publisher of Green Car Journal, which sponsors the award program. (more…)

BMW’s 3Q Profit Slides 1.2 Percent

Vehicle sales strong, other factors cause slippage.

by on Nov.04, 2014

BMW's 2014 X5 continues to set the pace for luxury SUVs and brought in big profits to the maker in the third quarter.

BMW AG’s profits fell slightly in the in the third quarter despite strong sales of its vehicles, particularly its X5 sport-utility vehicle made in South Carolina. The company sold 509,669 cars worldwide, an increase of 5.8%.

The Bavarian automaker’s net profit dropped 1.2% in the quarter due to non-cash losses on foreign currency hedges and the reduced value of a stake in a key supplier. The company is saying it expects to be more profitable this year than it was last year.

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Net profit of 1.31 billion euros ($1.64 billion) for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 fell short of analyst expectations for 1.36 billion euros, reported by the Associated Press. (more…)

Green Car Finalists Announced

Battery power vies with diesel, CNG and advanced gas options.

by on Oct.21, 2014

The BMW i3 is one of five cars up for the 2015 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s been plenty of attention paid to electric vehicles over the last several years, but not all green machines have a battery under the hood.

To underscore that point, just check out the five finalists for the 2015 Green Car of the Year. The nominees for the annual award, which will be presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month, present a mix of alternatives that include not only the requisite EVs, but also a diesel, a bi-fuel package and a conventional gasoline-powered model. The list is dominated by three European models with one each from Japan and the U.S.

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“These five exceptional vehicles reflect an expanding ‘green’ car field that embraces diverse fuels and technologies as answers to a more efficient and low carbon future,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and “Each offers a distinctly different approach to driving ‘green’ that appeals to buyers with varying needs and perspectives on how best to lessen environmental impact, while maintaining the joy of driving.” (more…)