PHOTO CAPTION: BMW i3's base price in Canada will be $44,950CAD.

BMW 'Pushes the Envelope' with i3 Electric City Car

Canadian Danny Geraghty gets to spend a couple hours behind the wheel of BMW's new i3 electric city car and came away wanting more.

Published: 27-Dec-2013

BMW invited journalists to attend the i3 press drive event in Los Angeles one day prior to the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show. I was excited to learn I’d be able to participate, not having yet driven an electric vehicle. The i3 - and quite frankly the entire i series strategy - represents a huge risk for BMW. The manufacturer has invested over $4 billion to bring the electric cars to fruition, having built them entirely from scratch.

The i3 has a unique modular architecture BMW calls LifeDrive. Passengers sit in the Life Module which is a CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) ultra-lightweight structure. The aluminum drive module encompasses the powertrain and chassis. By locating the battery in the floor of the Life module, the usual divider in the floor is done away with, leaving the passengers with more space.

BMW greeted us at the L.A.-area hotel with a fleet of about twenty Solar Orange i3s in the parking lot. After a walk around and in-depth description of the features from the BMW I series specialist, I was ready to get behind the wheel. My partner for this journey was the only other Canadian journalist invited by BMW, Mr. Michael Smith of Toronto-based Corporate Knights Magazine.


BWM i3 carbon fiber body shell

BMW and Toyota will also jointly develop lightweight carbon fiber technologies for vehicle bodies.

BMW i3 on display at 2013 North American International Auto Show.

Test drive of BMW's i3 finds it is 'shaping up to be a breakthrough electric car. It delivers dynamic thrills like no electric car before it. '

BMW i3 electric car.

The automaker found that range was only a problem with about 10 percent of daily trips, so it is planning to make available its conventional cars as temporary loaners for customers who buy the i3 electric car


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