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The New Electric Concept Car From BMW

7/29/2013 2:27:08 PM | by Jordan Perch

Motorcar Dealers: New - Bmw

German luxury car maker BMW has decided to enter the electric vehicle market, like almost every other major manufacturer has done, or plans to do in the near future. Even though other car makers, such as Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Honda had a head start, the Bavarian giant is hoping that it can quickly catch up with the competition, with the BMW i3 as the ace up its sleeve. They believe that they have a good chance of becoming the market leader soon, but to do that, the i3 will have to hit dealerships as soon as possible. The i3 concept was unveiled in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and now, two years later, it's ready to go into mass production. It is supposed to become available in European markets in November 2013, and American consumers will be able to purchase it in January 2014.


BMW claims that the price and the range of the i3 will set it apart from other electric vehicles that can be found on the market today. It will be powered by a 125-kW electric motor, with a power output of 170 horsepower, and the 22-kWh lithium-ion battery will provide it with a range of 80 – 100 miles. BMW will also offer a range-extended version, which will come with a 650cc two-cylinder engine, which will allow the car to travel an additional distance of 60 miles, after the battery gets empty. It will go from 0 – 60 mph in 7.2. seconds, which is a pretty good performance for an electric car. Unlike most other electric cars, the i3 a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. This makes for a very stable ride, and it allows the car to make tight turns pretty quickly. Additionally, it is ideal for driving in urban areas, thanks to the small turning radius.


Another important fact about the i3 is that its body will be made from carbon-fiber, which means that it will be much lighter than other electric vehicles. Its weight is distributed in an almost ideal way, with the electric motor mounted above the rear wheels, and the battery pack is positioned low under the floor, providing a low center of gravity.


Since range is one of the most common issues that electric vehicles have, BMW has decided to do something about it, by installing a display in the car's interior that tells the driver where the nearest charging station is, and they will provide a roadside assistance service, with an assistance vehicle that will recharge your car so that you can reach the nearest charging station. The BMW i3 can be fully recharged in six hours trough a standard power socket.


This upcoming new e-car model is a direct competitiion to the Tesla electric sports cars, which are the market leaders for now. Tesla's Model S is a  four-door sedan, capable to go up to 300 miles on one single charging, with a scheduled 20,000 to-be-manufactured units this year. Even though Tesla has positioned themselves as a affordable, price-to-value car manufaturer and BMW hopes to overtake the stylish high-end coupe niche, they will surely confront directly, since they are going to target the same market of electric cars.


While there is still no official information from BMW regarding the price of the i3, it's expected to cost about $35,000, which considering that it's produced by a company that only makes expensive, luxury vehicles, is a fairly good price. It will be more expensive than its main competitors in the electric car market, but BMW promises that it will be worth it, as its performances will be similar to those of gasoline-powered cars.

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