“What is that for a BMW,” blamed, when I3 came to the market in 2013. How he looks! And anyway: Electric, so what really has no future.
“Pretty courageous, what BMW does there,” the kilometers range wrote with slightly doubting undertone at that time. Almost nine years, a diesel scandal and a 12.6 percent increase in e-market share later, the view of the I3 has changed. Germany-wide sales figures have risen from Mageren 2200 in 2014 to more than 28,000 in 2021. Compared to the previous year 2020, this means an increase of 5.4 percent. At times the I3 has been even Germany’s best selling electric car.
Leipzig needs space
At that time still unusual: Already in 2013, BMW set sustainability in the interior. Manufacturer
Nevertheless, the end is approaching. As BMW confirmed to the manual “Automotive Week”, production will be discontinued in July 2022. Background is also that the I3 in the Leipzig plant must enable capacities for other models. Thus, from the second half of the year, the new generation of the 2er Active Tourer in the Saxon is run from the band and from 2023 the same new Mini Countryman, of which it will also give a fully electric version. And with the small SUV IX1 – the e-variant of the X1 – the I3 still receives a homemade competitor this year, which he would not have grown in terms of space, modernity and range.
With blue light: the I3 in use for the fire department. Manufacturer
Extractor lightweight construction
For a stir, the approximately four meters short I3 caused not only due to the BMW untypical, sometimes as a bizarre-sensitive shapes, the unusual concept of opposing portal doors and the novel eco-materials in the interior. In order to compensate for this due to the battery, comparatively high vehicle weight, BMW also opted for consistent lightweight construction: magnesium for the instrument panel, aluminum for the chassis, but above all carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the body. The fibers were manufactured as part of a joint venture with SGL in the US Moses Lake, then in the Upper Palatinate Wackersdorf to Textile and finally processed in the BMW plants Landshut and Leipzig for body parts. Also financially, this required a high effort. For the project I, so was reddifted at the time, BMW has taken more than three billion euros in the hand.
307 kilometers range
The first generation of the small rear drive worked with a 22 kWh battery, which brought 130 to 160 kilometers range. In 2016, an update to 33.2 kWh, 2018 took place another at 42.2 kWh. According to WLTP standard, the current I3 accounts for up to 307 kilometers of route.
Unusual: the opposing portal doors. Manufacturer
BMW temporarily offered a version with Range Extender (range extender) in parallel to the pure stromber. A 647-CCM two-cylinder petrol engine, imported from the scooter C600 sport and throttled in i3 to 34 hp, drove an additional generator, which in turn generated electricity for the electric drive motor. However, because the fully electric model version had caught up in terms of range and, above all, to sell at much lower prices, the I3 Rex was taken from the German program in 2018.
The BMW I3 has never been favorable. He is currently as “The I3” in the portfolio, prices start at 39,000 euros (I3, 125 kW / 170 hp) or 42,600 euros (I3s, 135 kW / 184 hp). The last buyers are likely to secure a piece of automotive history.