As we inch ever closer to the launch of the BMW i3 electric car (pictured), the German carmaker has revealed more details about the vehicle.
In addition to the vehicle's LifeDrive structure, the lithium-ion battery, power electronics and electric motor have all been manufactured independently by BMW. The car aims to offer what BMW describes as the optimum balance between performance, range and weight.
Its curb weight is 1,195kg, making it lighter than most compact vehicles despite offering space for four occupants. The vehicle makes use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the passenger cell: it is used to cancel out the extra weight from the battery.
Let's take a look at some of the key components:
- Motor: A hybrid synchronous electric motor is used with an output of 125kW and maximum torque of 250Nm. It helps the vehicle to accelerate from 0-60mph in seven seconds. Its top speed is limited to 93mph.
- Battery: A lithium-ion battery with a range of 80-100miles in everyday driving. This can be increased by around 12 per cent when the car is driven in ECO PRO mode and by a further 12 per cent in ECO PRO+ mode.
- Power electronics: Responsible for the interaction between the electric motor and the battery they serve as an inverter for the power supply from the battery to the electric motor with software control aiding the best possible current flow.
- Charging: Cars can be charged using a BMW i-charging station at home. In the US they can also be charged at public charging stations with an SAE J1772 connector. It takes around 20minutes for the battery to reach 80 per cent capacity with a DC fast-charging station.
- Range extender: The BMW i3 will also be available with a range extender engine if requested. It will maintain the charge of the lithium-ion battery when it dips below a certain level and allows a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine to take over.
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