The BMW i3 is on show at LCV2013, Millbrook, ahead of its first appearance to the wider public at next week’s 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Among the first of the 2,000 event visitors to enjoy a closer look at the revolutionary BMW i3 was Transport Minister Norman Baker. He announced that the BMW i3 is eligible for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, helping to make the first zero-emission vehicle in the premium car segment an affordable, as well as a technologically and environmentally attractive, proposition for customers.
In the BMW i3, the use of lightweight CFRP for the passenger cell compensates for the extra weight of the battery. The low, central location of the battery pack enhances the car’s agility thanks to perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity.
The electric motor generates an output of 170hp, with peak torque of 250Nm on demand instantly. This allows the BMW i3 to sprint from zero to 37mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds, while the lithium-ion battery gives a range of 80 –100 miles in everyday driving. This rises by approximately 15 per cent in ECO PRO mode and by the same again in ECO PRO+ mode.
For customers particularly conscious of ‘range anxiety’, the BMW i3 is also available with a range extender engine, powering a generator to maintain the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move. This is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine developing 34hp and mounted immediately next to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car’s maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 180 miles on one tank of fuel. The BMW i3 Range Extender costs £28,830 OTR.
Both BMW i3 models include a three-year, unlimited mileage vehicle warranty and an eight-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty. The battery is also included in the price of the car, negating a separate lease charge for the battery.
The price for the BMW i3 starts at £25,680 and £28,830 for the Range Extender. However, leasing is expected to be favoured by customers and the monthly rates are highly competitive. Starting at £369p/m for a 36-month contract and rising to £480p/m for an i3 Range Extender in Suite, the BMW i3 is a compelling package.
The BMW i3 is eligible for a number of government-backed grants and tax breaks due to its zero emissions powertrain. In addition to the ‘Plug-in’ grant that reduces the OTR cost of the vehicle by £5,000, both versions of the BMW i3 also benefit from a zero road fund licence charge and are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
The BMW i3 comes as standard in the UK with AC Fast Charging which sees a 7.4kW charge power up the BMW i3 from zero to 80 per cent within three hours. This can be performed by the optional BMW i Wallbox. The exclusive Wallbox has been created to give customers a comprehensive and premium sustainable mobility experience.
This equipment must be installed by a qualified electrician so a home survey, delivery, fitting and maintenance package for the BMW i Wallbox is available through Schneider Electric, while the installation service is managed by BMW and customised to customers’ specific requirements.
The BMW i3 launches in the UK on 16 November, 2013.