Six years of BMW i3: Electric vehicle pioneers drive over 200,000 km in their BMW i3.

Munich. Trailblazer for sustainable mobility and
endurance runner – within the six years following its launch, the BMW
i3 has become an extremely successful model and a symbol of electric
mobility. Since its market launch, it has been the most widely sold
electric vehicle in the premium compact segment. More than
165,000 units have been sold worldwide to date. And since the car’s
launch, sales figures have steadily increased year after year. The BMW
i3 convinces in everyday use with a future-oriented interpretation of
driving pleasure and versatile qualities reaching far beyond driving
short distances in major metropolitan regions. This is underscored by
the experience gained by electric car pioneers who regularly travel
longer distances in their BMW i3 and have each completed more than
200,000 emission-free kilometres.

Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship and continuing
sales success since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has acquired the
status of an icon. The BMW Group will continue to further develop this
vehicle and currently plans to extend production until at least 2024.
Customers emphasize above all the reliability, durability and the
practicable range of the BMW i3, whether in the heat of South Africa
or in the cool north of Sweden. The first all-electric vehicle from
the BMW Group has for years now proven everywhere to be a
cost-effective means of transport that is fully suitable for
day-to-day use. Customers who had their BMW i3 delivered shortly after
its launch and since then have subjected both the vehicle and its
original battery to a real endurance test, use sustainable mobility
not only for daily commuting between home and the workplace, but also
regularly for longer distances and even holiday trips.

Over 277,000 kilometres with the original set of brake pads.

“The vehicle concept of the BMW i3 is unique,” comments Helmut
Neumann from the community of Titz in North Rhine Westphalia. “It
looks so modern from the outside that people still turn around to
catch a glimpse of it.” Neumann has been driving around locally
emission-free since 2014 and even drove his BMW i3 BMW (60 Ah)
(combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption:
12.9 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) as far as Berlin and
the Alps without any trouble. “Apart from the immense driving
pleasure, the BMW i3 is simply an extremely economical car,” he says.
“This applies both to power consumption and maintenance costs alike.”
With an average power consumption of 13 kWh per 100 kilometres over
the entire lifespan, energy costs are kept to an absolute minimum –
not only compared with an automobile with combustion engine, but also
with other electric vehicles. At an electricity rate of 30 cents per
kilowatt-hour, Neumann’s energy costs are just EUR 3.90 per 100 kilometres.

An analysis by the German Automobile Club ADAC has already shown that
in addition to ecological aspects, economical aspects speak in favour
of the electric vehicle. In a comparison of overall costs, the BMW i3
was around 20 percent better in terms of size and performance than a
comparable BMW model powered by a combustion engine. In addition to
lower energy costs and high value retention, low expenditure for
maintenance and wear also contribute towards cost-effectiveness. For
the driver of a BMW i3, oil changes or defective exhaust systems are
relicts of the past. Deceleration is usually effected by means of
recuperation. Therefore, even after over 277,000 kilometres, Helmut
Neumann has still not had to replace the brake pads and discs on his
BMW i3 one single time.

Neumann is one of the customers who participated in the retrofit
programme and substituted the 60 Ah battery of his BMW i3 with a gross
energy content of 22 kWh for a 94 Ah high-voltage battery unit (BMW i3
(94 Ah): combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power
consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)
with a higher energy content of 33 kWh. The new battery offers greater
energy reserves. “This makes things simply more convenient on long
journeys,” he says.

Consistent vehicle range confirms the quality of the high-voltage battery.

Experience obtained by customers who use a BMW i3 from the first
years of production shows that even with the original battery, the
achievable vehicle range decreases only marginally even after high
mileage. This validates the BMW Group’s expectations in regards to the
quality of the high-voltage battery unit. Not one BMW i3 high-voltage
battery has had to be replaced due to premature ageing to date. As the
battery’s potential is far from being exhausted when reaching the
previously quoted 100,000 kilometres, the BMW Group has now extended
its European warranty for the battery in new BMW i3 vehicles even
further. The maximum mileage over a warranty period has been extended
to 8 years and/or 160,000 kilometres.

The BMW Group has also developed solutions for re-using batteries
that are no longer suitable for demanding use in automobiles. After a
long life in cars they can still provide valuable service as
stationary energy storage units. High-voltage batteries from
pre-series vehicles and those handed in by customers participating in
the BMW i3 retrofit programme are used on the grounds of the BMW plant
in Leipzig as storage units for the green power produced there by
means of wind turbines.

Offering a range that is actually achievable in practice, the BMW i3
meets the requirements of regular long-term use. Gabriele Forster from
Austria immediately found the ideal drive and charge rhythm, for
example. She made a conscious decision in favour of an environmentally
friendly vehicle with which she now commutes every day between home
and work. At midday and overnight she plugs her BMW i3 (60Ah) into a
wall box, which is sufficient to cover a distance of around 200
kilometres each day with a battery that has a capacity of 22.6 kWh.

Robert Cleary from the US drives locally emission-free almost 150
kilometres every day. Only on one single occasion did he run out of
power – about 50 metres from his front driveway. The problem was
solved using an extension cable. Robert had already participated in
field testing with the BMW Active E and in 2014 was therefore given a
BMW i3 (60Ah) in the “Electronaut” version for electric vehicle
pioneers. His car constantly provides a topic for discussion. Together
with colleagues from his company, Robert initiated an electric vehicle
workgroup that, among other things, advocates the provision of
additional public charging stations. He is convinced that “electric
driving strengthens environmental awareness”.

To Shaun Maidment from South Africa “range anxiety” is completely
unknown. “I once drove the BMW i3 from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It
took slightly longer, but it was okay,” he says. On normal workdays,
he drives up to 300 kilometres, making use of customer visits to
charge the battery. In 2014, Maidment opted for a BMW i3 (60 Ah) with
Range Extender (combined fuel consumption: 0.6 l/100 km; combined
power consumption: 13.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 13 g/km).
However, he now considers the petrol-driven “emergency power
generator” indispensable. “The Range Extender is essentially just a
kind of assurance.” In order to further promote electric mobility in
his home country, Maidment has launched a crowd funding platform
designed to support the installation of further public charging
stations in South Africa.

With a battery of the latest generation installed in the BMW i3 (120
Ah) (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power
consumption: 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km), whose
gross energy content has now been extended to 42.2 kWh, it was
possible to increase the vehicle range to values between 285 and
310 km as per WLTP test cycle and to 260 kilometres in everyday use.
This equates to an increase of around 50 percent vs. the BMW i3
featuring a high-voltage battery of the first generation.

Sustainable driving pleasure – a characteristic feature of the BMW i3.

Even after many years of all-electric driving, customers are still
fascinated by the spontaneous power and torque of the electric motor
and the one-pedal feeling with which their vehicle decelerates by
means of recuperation. “In the past, I have also tested other electric
vehicles, also larger and faster ones,” says Rob van Roon from the
Netherlands, “but none of them was as agile and easy to handle as the
BMW i3.” Since the end of 2013, Roon has driven 276,000 kilometres
with the first series production electric vehicle from the BMW Group,
with another 25,000 having been added since March 2019 in a new BMW i3
(120 Ah). The new model only needs to be charged once a day, and van
Roon usually knows how to make practical use of this. “Charging
doesn’t necessarily mean waiting,” he says. “I spend the time doing
administrative work or making phone calls, which demands my full
attention.” On long journeys he has discovered the advantages of the
quick charging stations from Ionity, which can be found at around 200
service areas along European long-haul routes. “If you can eat there,
you can charge your car there,” he has noticed. Consequently, Rob van
Roon and his family have driven their BMW i3 on trips taking them as
far as the North Cape, the Algarve and Sicily.

In October 2013, Leif Carlsson from Sweden had already taken the
first opportunity of a test drive in Stockholm. “After one single lap
I was convinced – this is my car. It was the coolest drive I had ever
experienced.” Today he still drives a BMW i3 (60Ah) with Range
Extender every day and after travelling more than 216,000 kilometres,
he enjoys the ideal balance between driving pleasure and
sustainability. At first, it is sufficient to charge the car from
conventional power sockets at home or at the workplace. In Sweden,
there is no shortage of these even in multi-storey car parks, because
there, auxiliary heating systems in automobiles are often supplied
with electricity from the mains. Meanwhile, quick charging stations
have been installed at workplaces and the network of public charging
stations is becoming increasingly denser. Therefore, Carlsson now
hardly ever uses the Range Extender. On the other hand, he still
appreciates the auxiliary heating in his BMW i3 during the winter. The
timer function works perfectly. When I get in the car to leave, the
interior is warm and the windows free from ice and snow.”

For João Gonçalves from Portugal a test drive in the winter of 2013
was also enough. It was “Love at first sight – combined with many
economical and ecological advantages.” Since then he has enjoyed every
trip “to work, in his spare time and on holidays. My BMW i3 takes me
simply everywhere.” He drives up to 250 kilometres a day and an
opportunity to recharge the battery is always easily found during
working hours at the office or when visiting customers. Meanwhile
Gonçalves changed to a BMW i3s (120 Ah) (combined fuel consumption:
0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km;
combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km). The increased output of 135 kW/184 PS
hp adds to driving pleasure and the high-voltage battery’s extended
storage capacity “makes daily life even easier”, he says. “And longer
journeys are now more comfortable and faster.” To prepare for long
journeys Gonçalves uses the navigation system of the BMW i3. “It plans
my route and indicates quick charging stations along the way, so I can
be sure of reaching my destination without any problems.”