BMW i3 (2013)
BMW i3 (2013)

The new all electric BMW i3 has gone on sale priced from £25,680 with the £5,000 OLEV Government grant. Although it is available to order now, the official UK launch date is on the 16th November 2013.

The BMW i3 is power by a hybrid synchronous electric motor - with the option of a petrol ‘range extender engine’ which charges the battery on the move.

The electric motor generates an output of 170hp with 250Nm torque which is available immediately.

It was designed as an electric car from the ground-up, which gave BMW the freedom to do as they wish, rather than make comprises as some manufactures have had to do when adapting conventional fuel cars, i.e. where the batteries impede on the boot space.

You can use just one pedal to control the BMW i3 under normal driving conditions, no need to use the brake pedal, although there is one. The moment the driver takes there foot off the accelerator the electric motor switches from drive into generator mode, feeding power into the lithium-ion battery. This recharging mode has the side effect of generating a precisely controllable braking motion, thus the car brakes itself. In city traffic can allow the driver to carry out 75 per cent of braking manoeuvres without applying the brake pedal. As a safety measure the brake lights illuminate if the regeneration produces the same braking effect as the brakes, which all seems rather clever.

BMW i3 Performance and Range

The i3 is quite spritely and will do 0 -62 mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 93 mph which is very respectable. BMW are promising a range of between 80-100 miles between full charges.

BMW i3 Extended Range

For an extra £3,150 the i3 is available with what BMW call a ‘range extender engine’, which is capable of powering a generator to maintain the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move.

The range extender engine comprises a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine developing 34hp and mounted immediately next to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car's maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 180 miles on one tank of petrol.

BMW i3 Charging

In the UK the BMW i3 comes with AC Fast Charging - which can charge the car from zero to 80 per cent within three hours via the optional BMW i Wallbox. Currently there is government grant which offers a 75 per cent grant for the provision of domestic charging points.  This subsidy applies to the BMW i Wallbox, bringing the installed cost to £315 incl. VAT.

The i3 can be charged from a standard domestic socket and will take around 10 hours.

You can also use DC charging via public charging points which you pay to use and this will charge the car to around 80 per cent in just 30 minutes to one hour, these are becoming more common.

BMW i3 Standard Safety Equipment

DSC is standard, plus you benefit from Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist, Brake Standby, Start-Off Assistant, Fading Compensation and the Brake Drying function. There is even a DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode which allows a controlled degree of slip through the BMW i3's driven wheels so that you can pull away on snow or sand.

BMW i3 Trim Levels

There are four trim levels for i3 or as BMW prefer to call them ‘interior worlds’, with all worlds feature sustainable materials such as sustainably sourced wood, natural fibres and naturally tanned leather.

BMW i3 Pricing
Model Price Power Torque 0 - 62mph Top Speed Range CO2
BMW i3 £25,680 170 HP 250 Nm 7.2 secs 93 mph 80-100 Miles 0 g/km
BMW i3 Range Extender £28,830 170 HP 250 Nm 7.9 secs 93 mph 160-186 Miles 13 g/km

The above prices include the £5,000 OLEV Government grant. Both versions of the BMW i3 benefit from a zero road fund licence charge and are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

BMW i3 Company Tax Benefits

Business owners can benefit from 100 per cent capital write down allowance. Where company car driver’s benefit from low Benefit in Kind taxation, which in the case of the standard i3 is zero per cent.

BMW i3 Warranty

The BMW i3 is protected by a three-year, unlimited mileage vehicle warranty plus an eight-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty. The battery is also included in the price of the car negating a separate lease charge for battery, which is the case some electric vehicles.

BMW i3 Availability

On sale now priced from £25,680 via 47 BMW dealerships have been appointed i3 agents, although the entire network can handle servicing of the i3. Service Inclusive is available on the BMW i3 for just £375, covering servicing costs for five years or 60,000 miles.


Published : 08/08/13 Author : Staff

BMW i3 News

This is a 8-year+ news article, from our BMW archive, which dates back to the year 2000.

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