Powering an electric revolution: Discover the BMWi Range
recently became one of the first major manufacturers to offer both an electric sports car and city car with both since going on to help change the perception of electric vehicles. Jumping both feet first into electric vehicle adoption, the BMWi range has been a fundamental part of building the marques green credentials. Whilst other manufacturers were specialising in one type of electric vehicle, BMW was carefully, and silently, working away on two all new electric and hybrid vehicles. The first being the i8, a sleek, powerful, yet refined petrol/electric hybrid sports car and the second being more a purposeful, fully electric and everyday usable i3. With both cars first featuring at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMWi brand was founded officially in 2011 and featured both cars at its core. Both being plug-in electric vehicles, with the i8 being a hybrid, both feature innovative electric vehicle tech and have redefined what an alternatively fueled vehicle can be. Let’s first take a look into the BMW i3. When you think of electric cars you may automatically begin to think about congestion choked cities and high pollution levels. You’d be right to make that connection as air quality levels have started to plateau over recent years after small, but significant improvements. Cars like the BMW i3 aim to tackle this issue head-on. Designed with the city in mind, this small nibble car is more than at home on the tight and twisty city streets, and what's more, this car emits absolutely zero emissions. Taking its power from lithium-ion batteries the i3 has a range of just over 100 miles on a single charge. Featuring futuristic styling the i3 visually is unlike any electric car that has gone before, and that may well be a reason for it’s increasing popularity. It’s immediately noticeable narrow tyres are cost-effective to replace and items such as its original front and rear passenger door configurations on the side of the vehicle also add an interesting visual feature. On the inside, the cabin is a futuristic as it’s external looks, featuring an angular dashboard and driver-centric information screens. Whilst the i3 has a green conscience and nails it’s style points, what if you want to benefit from cleaner technology, but aren’t yet committed to full electric? Well BMW has an answer for that and it comes in the guise of the BMW i8. If you’d like your green driving credentials to be boosted by something a little more performance focused then you wouldn’t go far wrong considering the BMW i8. Sculpted in a contemporary yet futuristic body, the i8 is instantly recognisable as a sports car. Nestled under those sleek lines is a highly efficient hybrid powertrain which features a combination of both petrol and electric power. The conventional, petrol-powered internal combustion engine is a 1.5-Litre turbocharged unit whilst the electrical power comes in the form of a 98 kW or 131 bhp motor. When working together all of these powertrain elements combine to deliver performance figures of standstill to 62 mph in a time of 4.4 seconds and onwards to an, electronically limited, top speed of 155 mph. Figures that would trouble even the most established of sports cars. Since its launch, the BMW i8 has gone on to become the fastest selling plug-in electric sports car. With the technology and performance detailed above, it’s not hard to see why. BMWi Range vehicles cater to a variety of demographics. Those that are looking for total CO2 free city driving, and those that still yearn for the potency and theatre of a petrol engine whilst enjoying the benefits of electric power. In the i3 and the i8, you have both needs covered. On occasion, we do have an example of both models available at Big Motoring World. Be sure to check the BMW section on our website to see what we have currently available.