|BMW presented their i3 Concept Coupe and i8 Concept Spyder at the Geneva Motor show which started yesterday.|
BMW i3 Concept and i8 Concept Spyder
The two future BMW electric and plug-in hybrid variants share the common eDrive technology comprising the eDrive powertrain and intelligent powertrain management.
The eDrive technology
The eDrive powertrain consists of the electric motor and lithium ion battery. Further, the eDrive powertrain provides drivers with a realistic range estimate for their journeys before they even set out. The internet-enabled navigation system is based on a dynamic range display which takes into account all the relevant parameters for the planned route and is therefore able to provide precise, reliable range predictions. In addition to the battery charge level, driving style, use of electric convenience systems and choice of drive modes such as COMFORT, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+, the calculations also take into account route topography and the current traffic situation.
In their quest to improve the acceptance of electric mobility, BMW has conducted relevant tests of over 20 million kilometers on the BMW ActiveE and MINI E cars with 1,000 drivers across 10 countries in Asia, Europe and the U.S.A. The results garnered were; distances covered by the electric cars showed very little difference from the distances covered by conventional cars, at somewhat over 40 kilometres (25 miles) a day on average; on average the drivers charged their cars 2 to 3 times daily; and 70% of the drivers would like access to public charging stations, but only 10% of the available charging stations were utilized. Those commuting between home and the office revealed that the cars only needed a full charge every 2 – 3 days.
The current BMW i3 is said to go within 130 – 160 kilometers range, in day-to-day driving. At the very moment, current electric cars offer up to a maximum range of 160 km before re-charging. In the BMW i3, the high-voltage lithium-ion battery keeps the drive system and other vehicle functions in check. The technology behind this is an intelligent heating/cooling system which always keeps the battery at an optimal operating temperature. This improves the everyday practicality, stable performance and life expectancy of the battery.
A further priority in designing the BMW i3 was to reduce the energy consumption of electrical components. The cabin heating operates on the heat pump principle, which results in 30 per cent energy savings in city driving compared with a conventional electrical heating system, while the internal and external lighting uses energy-saving LEDs. Together, these two measures make a significant contribution to “range security” in the BMW i3.
BMW i3 range extender
The BMW i3 can also be supplied with an optional range extender, which increases the driving range to approximately 300 kilometers. Towards the end of the year, the BMW i3 will make an appearance at BMW showrooms at selected countries.