BMW unveils all-electric i3 car

Photos galore inside
Jul 29, 2013
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BMW

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How serendipitous.

Today, Meralco will formally launch its pilot charging station for electric vehicles, known as the Meralco eVehicle Power Station. This perfectly coincides with the unveiling of the BMW i3, which the German carmaker touts as \"the world\'s first premium car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system.\" Early this month, BMW teased us with the car\'s unattractive silhouette.

Well, look at the photos here and tell us BMW didn\'t do a decent job with the styling.

The i3\'s 50kg electric motor--which stores its juice in lithium-ion battery cells--produces 170hp and 250Nm. Certainly not bad for a compact urban vehicle that weighs 1,195kg. The motor sends its power to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission, providing a range of 130km-160km in normal driving conditions.

The i3 measures 3,999mm long, 1,775mm wide and 1,578mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,570mm. In case you\'re wondering, that\'s about the size of a Ford Fiesta hatchback (3,969mm long, 1,722mm wide and 1,469mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,489mm). This thing is quick, zipping from zero to 100kph in 7.2 seconds, according to its manufacturer.

Some of the noteworthy features of the i3 include:

* Standard 19-inch forged light-alloy wheels (wrapped in 155/70 tires);

* 50:50 weight distribution (yep);

* A small turning circle of 9.86m;

* A passenger compartment made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer; and

* A load capacity of up to 1,100L (with the rear-seat backrests folded down)

The i3 comes with an eight-year/100,000km battery warranty. The battery pack, by the way, weighs a significant 230kg.

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BMW says that if you connect the i3 to a public fast-charging station, it will only take 30 minutes to give it 80% of the battery pack\'s storage capacity. (Let\'s just hope Meralco\'s EV power stations will be fast-charging.)

For the paranoid motorists, the i3 will be made available with an optional range-extending 650cc two-cylinder gasoline engine that churns out 34hp and increases the car\'s travel range to some 300km. But you need not worry, really, as BMW claims that this car was tested over 20,000,000km, during which they found out that the average daily trip required by a user is around 45km.

Now, here\'s the interesting part. We just got an invite from BMW to check out a certain electric vehicle in Singapore next month. Our bet is that we will be meeting the i3 in the metal.

 

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