After previously experimenting with electric power for the ActiveE Concept, BMW is finally ready to enter the EV segment with the all-new i3, a lithium-ion battery-powered hatchback set for commercial release in the second quarter of 2014. Formerly known as the “Megacity Vehicle,” the BMW i3 features a 170-horsepower electric motor that gives the car a range of 80-100 miles and propels it from 0-60 mph in a respectable 7 seconds. The i3 also comes with the option of a supplemental gas-powered engine that increases its range to about 170 miles on a single charge. Lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aluminum are used extensively to reduce weight and increase efficiency, giving the i3 a projected EPA rating of 120 MPGe (the electric vehicle equivalent of miles per gallon). Of course, drivers can manage their efficiency and battery usage through a cool suite of apps that can be accessed via smart phone.
For those looking for even more performance from their electric-powered vehicle, the BMW i8 may be worth the wait. Expected to hit showrooms roughly a year after the i3, this plug-in hybrid sports coupe is powered by a turbocharged inline-3 and an AC synchronous electric motor that combine to give the i8 360 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Keep checking back for pricing and other info on these electrifying rides as we near their release date.