BMW is a spearhead in the pursuit of sustainable motoring and the premium i models are helping to lead the charge towards a greener future.
Both the i3 and the i8 are superb examples of a modern electric car, with the pair having sufficient electric-only range to get around day-to-day, plus efficient petrol engines installed helping to charge the batteries or be paired with them for extra performance, such as in the i8.
The i3 is built as more of a city car, and with its hatchback body and modern styling, it certainly stands out on the streets. The standard i3 is a pure electric car, with the option to fit a small 2-cylinder petrol engine as a range extender, which cuts in when the battery is running low. With the drivetrain built into the ‘Drive Module’ chassis underneath the bodywork, it has a low centre of gravity, and with the lightweight yet very strong carbon fibre body, the i3 is both safe and agile.
On pure electric power, the i3 can go 99 miles on one full charge, and with the average commute taking 30 miles, you could get 3 trips out of one charge. With more and more charging points popping up around the UK, you can charge the car while out and about. It's also possible to have rapid charging points installed at home, with the BMW i Wallbox Pro charging a battery from near-flat to full in under 4 hours.
Despite costing more than the conventionally-powered hatchback at first, within 5 years you will have saved more money overall, as charging points around the country usually provide their services for free and fuel, tax and insurance costs will push the price of a petrol powered car up.
As well as the hatchback and family car market approach with the i3, BMW is focusing on the future of the sports car as well, and the i8 is helping to push the boundaries of current technologies while also presaging how sports cars will be powered in the near future.
With three driving modes, the i8 is very adaptable to suit how you want to drive. COMFORT mode is suited to suburban or inner city driving, with the electric motors used solely up until 37mph, where the petrol engine kicks in to help out. ECO PRO mode optimises the possible efficiency of the i8, adjusting the car to get as many miles out of the tank as possible. SPORT mode combines the instant power surge of the electric motors and the petrol engine to gain sporty responsiveness and speed. Energy is conserved through braking and accelerating to keep the battery as charged as possible.
With a sleek body and lightweight framework, the i8 has the sports car build it needs to help make it an exciting prospect to both look at and drive. With a mostly carbon fibre build and 50:50 weight distribution, the i8 has a fantastic balance that helps the performance of the car very exciting.
Both the i3 and i8 are focussed on electric power throughout all their driving modes, and with electric motion becoming more prominent in the world of motoring, BMW is taking the lead and using it to revolutionise the market.