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Posts Tagged ‘bmw news’

BMW Launches “Home Energy Storage Solution”

German maker joins growing list repurposing used EV batteries.

by on Jun.21, 2016

One of the new stationary generators with a BMW i3.

BMW is launching a new stationary storage system that will use the same batteries found in its i3 electric city car.

What BMW is calling an “intelligent storage solution” can be integrated into a broader home or office clean energy system, not only providing power during a blackout but also storing wind or solar energy for use when power demands peak.

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“The remarkable advantage for BMW customers in using BMW i3 batteries as a plug and play storage application is the ability to tap into an alternative resource for residential and commercial backup power, thus using renewable energy much more efficiently, and enabling additional revenues from the energy market,” Cliff Fietzek, Manager Connected eMobility at BMW of North America, said ahead of the system’s debut at the EVS29, the annual electric vehicle conference held this year in Montreal. (more…)

BMW Breaks Ground on New Mexico Plant

New facility will be most advanced plant in its system.

by on Jun.17, 2016

BMW and Mexican officials kick off construction on the automaker's $1 billion plant in San Luis Potosi.

The BMW Group has broken ground on a new billion-dollar plant in Mexico, the latest in a growing string of automakers to move operations into the Latin American nation.

Significantly, BMW’s $1 billion investment is part of a transition for Mexico from a manufacturing base for price-sensitive, entry-level models to higher-end products, BMW’s rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz set to open their own Mexican plants.

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With the addition of the BMW, Mercedes Audi plants, as well as those planned by Kia, Ford and other makers, there will soon be more than 20 assembly operations in Mexico, making it one of the world’s top five sources for automobiles. (more…)

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…)

2017 BMW 2-Series Gets Twin-Power Engines

More power, better mileage.

by on May.17, 2016

The 2017 BMW M240i Convertible.

BMW is pumping things up for 2017, offering a pair of new and more powerful TwinPower Turbo engines for the 2-Series coupe and convertible lines.

The old M235i model will be replaced for the coming model-year by the 2017 BMW M240i, the new 3.0-liter six-cylinder package churning out 335 horsepower, a 15 hp increase over its predecessor. That puts it within striking distance of the top-line BMW M2. The other option for 2017 is the new 2.0-liter BMW 230i, which will be making 248 hp.

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BMW claims that both of the new engine packages develop smoother and more instantaneous power than classic turbo options, eliminating the classic turbo lag at low RPMs. The 240i, for example, hits peak torque of 369 pound-feet at just 1,520 revs.

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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.

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Tesla, BMW Lose Key Battery-Car Talent

Apple and Chinese start-up Future Mobility go poaching.

by on Apr.20, 2016

Several key members of the BMW i team, including the head of i8 development, have bolted.

It still refuses to acknowledge any plans to develop a car of its own, but consumer electronics giant Apple has reportedly been poaching a number of auto industry veterans for what is believed to be known internally as Project Titan – and that now includes a senior Tesla executive.

Chris Porritt, a one-time Aston Martin designer, had been more recently working at Tesla, helping in the development of its two current products, the Models S and X, as well as the upcoming Model 3 battery-electric sedan. According reports in several Silicon Valley publications, Porritt will now serve at Apple as Special Projects Group PD Administrator.

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Porritt, however, isn’t the only battery-car executive jumping ship. German automaker BMW has reportedly lost a number of key members from the team that developed it i3 and i8 electric vehicles. The group, which includes Carsten Breitfeld, leader of the team behind the i8 plug-in sports car, will now work on EV development for the Chinese-funded start-up Future Mobility Corp.

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New Study Finds Big Gaps in Headlights

“Most need improvement,” warns IIHS.

by on Mar.30, 2016

A BMW 3-Series is put through the IIHS headlight test process. The car ranked "poor."

They’re among the most basic safety devices found on every vehicle on the market, yet nearly 120 years after the invention of the electric headlight, most still fall short of effectively lighting the way, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In its first-ever test of headlights, the insurance trade group found only one of the 31 midsize vehicles it tested – the Toyota Prius V, earned a “good” rating, with another 11 rated “acceptable.” The rest of the group were in need of serious improvement, according to the IIHS.

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“If you’re having trouble seeing behind the wheel at night, it could very well be your headlights and not your eyes that are to blame,” said IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer David Zuby.

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Legislation, Not Technology, Key Obstacle to Autonomous Driving, Warns BMW Board Member

German maker wants to combine battery power, autonomous tech in future products.

by on Mar.28, 2016

The BMW Vision shows its flexible body panels, forward and rear gullwing doors and living room-like cabin.

While some automakers hope to have their first autonomous vehicles in production by 2020 – and perhaps even sooner – the BMW board member in charge of global sales thinks that is far too optimistic.

The reality is “probably 2025 or beyond,” cautioned BMW veteran Ian Robertson. “The technology will be there before the legislation is there,” Robertson said, during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

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The Bavarian automaker, best known for its sporty and high-performance cars and light trucks, has also been a long-time proponent of autonomous vehicles, its senior executives first discussing the concept of self-driving technology before the turn of the millennium. (more…)

BMW Expects to Take Long-Forbidden Step with M Brand

A true BMW M7 to finally join line-up.

by on Mar.25, 2016

Led by the M760i, BMW's 7-Series clinched the World Luxury Car category at the New York Auto Show.

As the public days open at this year’s New York International Auto Show, visitors to the BMW stand will get a look at two new, higher-performance versions of the maker’s big 7-Series sedan.

The Alpina B7 is actually produced by a small German partner that has long provided low-volume spin-offs of BMW products, while the M760i is made in-house by BMW. They join an expanding line-up of higher-performance models from the Bavarian maker, including the M3 and M5.

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But those familiar with the sometimes arcane nomenclature used by the Bavarian automaker will notice that these two new models still leave a gap in the line-up. There is no actual BMW M7. (more…)

Mazda Claims Double Win at World Car Awards

by on Mar.24, 2016

Mazda NA CEO Masahiro Moro and WCoTY organizer Peter Lyons with the MX-5 Miata.

For such a little car, the Mazda MX-5 Miata was the big winner at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday morning, collecting not only the trophy for World Car of the Year, but also being honored as the globe’s top automotive design.

The twin win came hours before the first formal unveiling of a special auto show unveiling of the Miata RF. The retractable fastback version of the two-seat roadster generated rave reviews when it was shown to a smaller group of journalists on Tuesday night.

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“What a day for Mazda,” blurted out Masahiro Moro, who recently took over as CEO of Mazda’s North American operations. “This is a brand icon,” he declared, hoisting the hefty World Car of the Year trophy and inviting key members of the development team to join him on stage.

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