The BMW i philosophy
It’s unusual for a car manufacturer to launch a sub-brand with a specific focus, but BMW did just that when it created BMW i.
In brief, the BMW i message is the development of sustainable mobility solutions – and while this may at first seem to be focussed on motoring, it isn’t necessarily the case.
Still, at the fore of the BMW i brand are the two vehicles launched in 2013 – the i3 and the i8. Both models are based on BMW’s new construction process called LifeDrive architecture. All of the powertrain components are housed within an aluminium chassis, while the passenger cell itself is made from a strong but extremely lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
This compensates for the extra weight of the battery and motors – the i3 is BMW’s first ever production vehicle capable of running on electric power alone – in order not just to improve efficiency but retain good driving dynamics. The plug-in hybrid BMW i8, based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept, goes a step further with the extremely aerodynamic body.
But BMW i isn’t just about the cars. The i brand also focuses on mobility services, starting with the BMW ConnectedDrive but expanding to technologies independent of the cars themselves. Through BMW i Ventures, the brand has invested in personal mobility apps such as the Embark service that connects the user to public transport with real time updates, the car-sharing service DriveNow and Life360, an app that lets you see the current location of your family members.
With BMW i the philosophy is designed around keeping people moving around a modern metropolis, whether they are in their cars or not.