BMW i3 News
BMW this month announced that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the MINI Countryman in 2017—followed by a pure all-electric versionin 2019. These new plug-in models will come in addition to BMW's growing list of plug-in offerings.
BMW announced in May that its 2017 i3 electric car will offer an all-electric range of 114 miles—a big jump from the current model's 81 miles. The new longer-range i3, which is available now, catapults the model to first place in EV range among vehicles priced below $50,000. And yet, that position will be short-lived with 200-mile EVs, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, expected later this year.
BMW announced this week that a version of its 2017 i3 electric car will offer an all-electric range of 114 miles—a big jump from the current model's 81 miles. The new longer-range i3 will immediately catapult the model to first place in EV range among vehicles priced below $50,000.
The Volkswagen E-Golf may not be the best-selling eco-friendly compact car on the market—or even the top-selling compact all-electric vehicle. But in terms of what makes a small car great and green, according to AAA, the E-Golf is the best overall compact green car on the market.
The BMW blog reported earlier this month that the 2017 BMW 5-Series will be offered with three plug-in hybrid options. The launch of one or more of these plug-in cars in global markets could be as early as December 2016. Stories about these models first emerged late last year, and add to a growing roster of BMW EVs and plug-in hybrids expected in the next couple of years.
In September 2013, Peter Wolf, BMW’s head of production line for large vehicles, said, “We are planning to have a plug-in hybrid vehicle in each and every model series.” Twenty months later, BMW appears to be methodically marching to this plan by announcing the introduction of the 330e, a plug-in hybrid version of its popular 3-series sedan.
BMW is barely out of the gate with sales of its i3 and i8 battery-powered cars. Yet, it has already established a leadership role in the electric car world—putting the company in the top echelon of EV-makers along with Tesla and Nissan. As news emerges of more BMW EVs and plug-in hybrids in the works, the German automaker appears to be moving faster than Tesla or Nissan toward an entire suite of plug-in cars.
In 2014, BMW introduced two plug-in vehicles: the all-electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8 sports car. But that might be merely a precursor to a set of new practical plug-in Bimmers coming in 2015 and beyond.
There's an argument that a bigger battery pack is more important than greater efficiency, when it comes to range. Under “normal” charging, the Mercedes EV fully charges to 28 kilowatt-hours. But when the “range plus package” is employed, it pushes utilization to about 31.4 kilowatt-hours. Using that number compared to the i3’s usable capacity of 18.8, and the delta between the two is 67 percent.
Tom Moloughney, long-time EV driver and first owner of a BMW i3 with the range-extender option, answers fundamental questions about the car. Let's start with this one: How is the BMW i3’s range-extending system different from the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid?