Munich: The BMW i3 (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100km; combined power consumption: 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) is sustainably on course for success – in both senses of the word.
Almost seven years after its market launch, the purely electrically powered and thus locally emission-free compact model is still in continuous high demand.
At the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, the 200 000th BMW i3 model rolled off the production line yesterday – almost silently as always.
The BMW i3s (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) with Fluid Black metallic paint finish and accents in BMW i Blue was produced for a customer from Saxony and will be delivered by the BMW branch in Leipzig.
The BMW i3 with 125 kW/170 hp and BMW i3s with 135 kW/184hp are built in Leipzig for the entire world market on a dedicated production line and by specially trained employees.
With the start of production in 2013, the plant in Saxony became a pioneer and centre of excellence for sustainable mobility. The BMW i3 was the BMW Group’s first purely electrically powered large-scale serial model and also the company’s first vehicle with a passenger cell made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).
The Life module made of CFRP is part of a vehicle architecture specific to BMW i and designed for electric mobility from the outset. It is shaped in Leipzig from carbon fibre scrims and assembled in a unique process developed by the BMW Group.
This is followed by the union with the drive module, the aluminium chassis, which bears the drive, chassis and high-voltage battery. State-of-the-art manufacturing processes ensure that the body construction and assembly of the BMW i3 in Leipzig takes only about half the time required for conventional vehicles.
The success of the BMW i3 and the experience gained in developing and manufacturing it have significantly boosted progress in the fields of electric mobility and lightweight construction. In this way the BMW i brand has become the workshop of the future for the entire company.
The drive of the BMW i3s now also powers the MINI Cooper SE (fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) to provide purely electric driving joy.
In addition, the gross energy content of the high-voltage storage unit was almost doubled from initially 22.6 to 42.2 kWh without changing its size. The range of the BMW i3 thus increased to between 285 and 310 kilometres in the WLTP test cycle.
Based on the know-how acquired with the BMW i3, numerous innovations have also been achieved in the fields of drive, power electronics and charging technology.
The fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology is now ready for series production. It is used, among other things, in the new technology flagship of the BMW Group, the BMW iNEXT, which will be manufactured at the BMW Group plant in Dingolfing, with components from the BMW plant Landshut, from 2021 onwards.
The high-tech material CFRP is for example now also contributing to intelligent lightweight construction in the BMW 7 Series.
The BMW Group plant in Leipzig will continue to make a significant contribution to expanding electric mobility in the future. The site will become part of the BMW Group’s international production network for battery modules as early as 2021.
By 2022, the BMW Group will invest more than 100 million euros in establishing battery module production in Leipzig. In future, the lithium-ion cells supplied, will be assembled into standardised modules in a highly automated process.
These will then be assembled together with the connections to the vehicle, the control units and the cooling units in an aluminium housing specific to each model.
By 2022 more than 150 employees will be working in the battery module production in Leipzig. In this way, the expertise gained at this BMW i3 production site is consistently used for manufacturing electrified vehicles in Germany.
The BMW Group plant in Leipzig, where in addition to the BMW i3, models of the BMW 1 and 2 Series with conventional and plug-in hybrid drive are also manufactured, is thus even more comprehensively equipped for the “Power of Choice” approach in the company’s model strategy in the future.
The BMW i3 was developed as a revolutionary new vehicle concept for individual mobility in urban areas. With the BMW i3, the BMW Group has provided significant impetus for change in the field of inner-city transport, which has also inspired other car manufacturers to devote more attention to electric mobility.
Today, the BMW i3 is not only still the bestselling premium car in its segment, but also a world-renowned symbol of locally emission-free driving in the city and for commuting between home and work.
In addition, the BMW i3 represents a new understanding of premium mobility, which is also strongly characterised by sustainability beyond the purely electric drive.