BMW i3 News
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?
The sight this week of a trailer full of crushed BMW ActiveE models—posted to Facebook—reasonably recalled old feelings of anger, frustration, and regret. On the surface, it looks the same story of automaker intransigence regarding EVs. Yet, the context for the demise of those ActiveEs has dramatically changed in recent years.