Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BMW i3 Rendering Review

I have heard from various sources that BMW is going to publicly unveil their pre-production version of the 2013 i3 at a press gathering on July 28th. I have had a few journalists that have been invited reach out to me and ask if I would be attending also. I will not, but I'm sure it won't be long after that I get the details of what whs announced and even some nice photo's of the i3.

Since we'll finally get to see what the BMW designers have come up with, I thought I'd post some of the artist renderings we have has to look at since the i3 was first announced last year. Back then, BMW would only refer to it as the MegaCity vehicle. I'll start it off with the spy photograph that was taken of the car during cold weather testing is Sweden earlier this year.  You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

As you can see there are common themes that hold up through most of the renderings. In less than a month I think we'll know who was closest to the mark. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

BMW i3: The Intersection of Policy, Business, & Carbon

I recently came across this interesting report. It's titled "BMW: i3 Electric Vehicle. The Intersection of Policy, Business, & Carbon" and was written by Lauren Blasch, Jeremy Pomp, Marla Stancil, Shyam Vijayaraghavan.

The report focuses on electric vehicles and their carbon footprint in general, as opposed to being i3 specific. It demonstrates that depending on the source of the electricity used for charging the car, EV's can range from better to worse than a Toyota Prius in carbon emissions. It's interesting that they used the most efficient hybrid currently available to compare electric vehicle emissions to. I think it might have been more useful to use the Pruis and also show on the graph the average internal combustion engine cars carbon emissions also. They even go as far as to detail which states are better suited for electric cars based on their electricity generation mix. The good news is that New York and California, the target markets for the i3 since they both have "megacities" were two of the states that were "EV favorable" The report is only 28 pages long and many of the pages are graphs so it doesn't take long to read. There are some interesting fact in there so I recommend reading it if you are interested in electric vehicles and their impact on the environment.

One thing to consider though, the report is strictly focused on the carbon emissions of vehicles and I advocate electric cars for more reasons than just their carbon footprint. Even if you live in a state that produces 100% of it's electricity from burning coal, and by using an EV you are producing more carbon than if you owned a Toyota Prius, you are still spending your energy dollars on a DOMESTIC product. You are not contributing to the crushing trade imbalance, much of which is created from importing foreign oil and you are not sending some your money to radical Middle Eastern regimes, many of which hate us. Electricity is produced and distributed by local and regional companies, and 100% of the money you spend on it stays local. If you ask me, that's reason enough to drive an electric car.

Monday, June 20, 2011

BMW i3 To be Officially Introduced in July!

According to BMWCOOP and some of my other sources, the BMW i3 as well as the i8 may be formally introduced as early as late July. This goes against most reports that the i3 will be seen for the very first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. 

While BMW has shown pre-production i8's in videos, they have never shown the public an i3 in the flesh and have only provided vague sketches of the car that is hoped to revolutionize the electric car market, setting new standards for efficiency as well as being the first-ever mass produced car that is made entirely of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum. This car may very well pave the way for BMW as well as other major OEM's to offer dramatically lighter, more efficient cars that require less energy to operate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BMW i3 To Be Introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show!

Although it hasn't been officially announced by BMW, there have been numerous reports that the BMW i3 will be introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this September, albeit in pre-production form.

Will we finally get to see how the car will look without all the blue and white swirly camouflage? It would appear so. We'll also get to see how the actual tail lights look since the circular, protruding lights in the above photo are most certainly there just to hide the real look of the rear of the vehicle, automakers do this stuff all the time to hide how the car looks until they are ready to show it off. Fortunately, it looks like they will be doing just that in a few months at the Frankfurt International Motor Show

I believe it will be a pre-production model so while most of the vehicle will be close to production, some things will change. It has been long rumored that the official production version of the i3 will make it's world debut at the 2012 London Olympics and that plan is probably still in effect. Still, it's exciting that we will get to see the general form and lines of the car in about three months. This car has a lot of hype to live up to, I hope the BMW designers don't let us down!