The BMW i is a sub-brand of BMW founded in 2011, which designs and manufacture plug-in electric vehicles. The two initial vehicles are i3 all-electric car and i8 plug-in hybrid. The both concepts of the cars were shown at 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The series production of the BMW i3 destined for retail customers began in September 2013, the launch in the European market took place in November 2013.
The first BMW i store was opened in June 2012 at BMW’s London Park Lane showroom. Then was presented the updated version of BMW i3 and unveiled its i Pedelec electric bicycle concept. On November 15, 2013, retail deliveries for the i3 began with a special ceremony in Munich.
BMW i3 and its building concept
The BMW i3 is BMW’s first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle; it features carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. It gets power from an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. BMW i3 was built for everyday use with an electric range of 130 to 160 km.
BMW invested US$ 100 million to build a plant in Moses Lake ,Washington, this becoming by next year “the largest carbon-fiber plant on Earth”. This plant is located on the territory that has access to great hydroelectric power.
BMW i8 a plug in hybrid
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid is the product of the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and has an all-electric range of 35 kilometers (22 mi). Production of both plug-in electric cars is scheduled to start in Leipzig in 2013.
The production version of the i8 was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.BMW plans to sell the i8 in about 50 countries, with the U.S. expected to be the largest sales market. In Europe, the UK, Germany and France are expected to be the top markets. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014.
Both the i3 and i8 will benefit from BMW’s Life-Drive platform which makes use of light-weight materials. Both cars will come with an aluminum chassis, and in the case of the i8, the windshield, top, doors and fenders are made from polycarbonate glass, with the body having a drag coefficient of 0.26.