BMW Electric Cars: The Complete Guide

BMW electric car

Overview


BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), is a leading global automotive manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. BMW is well known for its portfolio of luxury vehicles, to include the famed Rolls-Royce luxury cars. The group manufacturers a number of cars under its BMW brand, to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The BMW i3 EV is an excellent example of a successful pure electric car. The company currently has the following portfolio of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs):



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The All-Electric BMW i3 Hatchback


The BMW i3 electric hatchback is part of the BMW zero-emission sub brand ‘BMW i’. The plug-in electric i3 car is the first mass-market BEV manufactured by BMW. The BMW i3 made its debut at the International Motor Show in Germany 2011, with production commencing in 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.

The BMW i3 has won a number of awards, to include, the World Green Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, World Car of the Year and an iF Product Design Gold Award. The larger EV battery pack (42.2 kWh) was announced in 2018. In October 2017, the 100,000th BMW i3 rolled off the production line and the 200,000th BMW i3 rolled off the Leipzig production line in October 2020.   

The BMW i3 is a high quality compact electric car, perfect for families living in city centres or suburbs. The EV can easily fit children and young adults in the rear seat, with enough boot space for school gear, grocery shopping etc. The access to the unique rear-hinged rear seats is easy for children and adults. The 42.2 kWh EV battery size is sufficient for most requirements, to include weekend getaways and day trips. On a full charge, the hatchback electric vehicle can achieve nearly up to 200 emission-free electric miles (WLTP).

BMW i3 electric car
The All-Electric BMW i3 (credit: BMW)
At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (2 Options)
BMW i3 (from £33,805)
BMW i3s (from £34,805)

PROSCONS
Good performanceDC charging limited to 50 kW
Good design and stylingSmall boot and rear headroom limited
11 kW on-board chargerCheaper alternatives available

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (42.2 kWh)
Charging:50 kW rapid charging (0%-80%: 42 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1590
Width (mm):1791
Length (mm):4006
Wheelbase (mm):2570

BMW i3 120Ah
EV Battery Capacity:42.2 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):182-190 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.9-4.1
Charging:50 kW rapid charging (0%-80%: 42 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:93 mph
0-62 mph:7.3 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):125
Max Power (hp):170
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:4
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):1,345
Colours:7

BMW i3s 120Ah
EV Battery Capacity:42.2 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):173-175 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.8
Charging:50 kW rapid charging (0%-80%: 42 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:93 mph
0-62 mph:6.9 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):135
Max Power (hp):184
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:4
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):1,365
Colours:7

The All-Electric BMW iX3 SUV


The BMW iX3 electric SUV is an evolution of the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) BMW X3 SUV. Put another way, unlike many of the recent electric vehicles (EVs) introduced in the market, the all-electric BMW iX3 was not developed on a dedicated electric vehicle platform. However, the German manufacturer has done well in making the most of the incumbent petrol X3 and transforming it to a zero-emission electric vehicle (ZEV).

The production version of the pure electric BMW iX3 was unveiled in July 2020. The e-SUV is being manufactured in China and production commenced in September 2020. The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) SUV has been on sale from this year (2021). For those customers keen on migration to electric driving, but not keen on ‘futuristic styling’, the BMW iX3 BEV is a potential choice, as its design has not changed from the conventional petrol variant. Of course, as one would expect, there is no tailpipe in the electric iX3 and the front grille is different too! Apart from a few other small changes, much is the same!

The electric iX3 will not disappoint in terms of interior quality, comfort and space. As one can expect from German quality, the interior materials are a high standard, the infotainment system is responsive and high quality and driving the EV is a pleasure. The 80 kWh EV battery has been placed below the floor of the electric vehicle (EV), with good interior space (headroom and legroom) for the rear seat passengers. The e-SUV can be charged in under 35 minutes using a 150 kW public DC charger. The iX3 has won the prestigious WhatCar? Car of the Year award.

BMW iX3 electric SUV
The All-Electric BMW iX3 SUV (credit: BMW)

At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:SUV
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (2 Options)
Premier Edition (from £58,850)
Premier Edition Pro (from £61,850)

PROSCONS
A familiar design for those who prefer continuity (very similar to petrol BMW X3 SUV)Only rear-wheel drive
High quality interior specifications and infotainmentNot built on a dedicated EV platform
Good headroom and legroom for rear seat passengersCheaper alternatives available

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (80 kWh)
Charging:150 kW DC rapid charging (0%-80%: 34 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1668
Width (mm):1891
Length (mm):4734
Wheelbase (mm):2864

BMW iX3 Premier Edition
EV Battery Capacity:80 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):280-282 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.3
Charging:150 kW DC rapid charging (0%-80%: 34 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:112 mph
0-62 mph:6.8 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):210
Max Power (hp):286
Torque (Nm):400
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,260
Colours:4

The All-Electric BMW iX SAV


The BMW iX electric vehicle (EV) is the first all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) from the German automotive company. The all-new BMW iX EV includes the fifth generation BMW eDrive Technology. The pure electric SUV (SAV) concept vehicle was revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show as the Vision iNEXT.

The pure electric SUV will be available in the UK in two models from the outset. The all-electric BMW iX xDrive40 and the all-electric BMW iX xDrive50. There are two EV battery sizes on offer: 76.6 kWh and 111.5 kWh. The latter option has a zero-emission electric range up to 380 miles (WLTP) and is only available with the ’50’ model. The EV is available for order in the UK, with deliveries slated from November 2021 onwards.

BMW iX electric car
The All-Electric BMW iX SAV (credit: BMW)

At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (3 Options)
BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport (from £69,905): Comfort
BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport (from £72,905): Technology
BMW iX xDrive50 M Sport (from £94,905): Ultimate

PROSCONS
Exterior stying attractiveThe xDrive50 is expensive
High quality interior specifications and infotainment Cheaper alternatives available
Good electric rangeOnly the xDrive50 model can charge at 200 kW DC

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in two battery sizes (76.6 kWh/ 111.5 kWh)
Charging:Up to 200 kW DC rapid charging (10%-80%: 35 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1595
Width (mm):1967
Length (mm):4953
Wheelbase (mm):3000

BMW iX xDrive40
EV Battery Capacity:76.6 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):246-257 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.1
Charging:150 kW DC rapid charging (10%-80%: 35 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:124 mph
0-62 mph:6.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):240
Max Power (hp):326
Torque (Nm):630
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,440
Colours:6

BMW iX xDrive50
EV Battery Capacity:111.5 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):365-380 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.0
Charging:200 kW DC rapid charging (10%-80%: 35 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:124 mph
0-62 mph:4.6 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):385
Max Power (hp):523
Torque (Nm):765
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,585
Colours:6

The All-Electric BMW i4 Gran Coupe


The BMW i4, is the first all-electric Gran Coupe. The electric vehicle (EV) is based on the iVision Dynamics concept that made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i4 is an electrified powertrain of the 4-series and looks similar to the 4-series Gran Coupe.  It is slotted between the BMW i3 hatchback and the BMW i8 sports. The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is assembled in Munich (Germany) and will be the first all-electric saloon for BMW. The i4 includes the fifth generation BMW eDrive Technology.

The pure electric BMW i4 will include lightweight carbon-fibre construction, which is currently featured in the all-electric BMW i3 and the BMW i8 EV. BMW is deploying a ‘flexible vehicle architecture’ that will be used by both internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). The design has also been inspired by the BMW iNext SUV concept unveiled at the 2018 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The BMW i4 electric car is manufactured using ‘sustainable and green energy’. The EV is available for reservation in the UK, with deliveries slated for later in 2021.

BMW i4 electric car
The All-Electric BMW i4 (credit: BMW)

At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Gran Coupe
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (3 Options)
BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport (from £55,345): Comfort
BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport (from £64,255): Technology
BMW i4 M50 (from £72,995): Ultimate

PROSCONS
A familiar design for those who prefer continuity (very similar to petrol BMW X3 SUV)Only rear-wheel drive
High quality interior specifications and infotainmentNot built on a dedicated EV platform
Good headroom and legroom for rear seat passengersCheaper alternatives available

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (80.7 kWh)
Charging:200 kW DC charging (10-80%: 31 minutes). On board charger: 11 kW
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1,448
Width (mm):1,852
Length (mm):4,783
Wheelbase (mm):2,856
Boot Capacity (L):470

BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):347 – 365 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.9 – 3.6
Charging:200 kW DC charging (10-80%: 31 minutes). On board charger: 11 kW
Top Speed:118 mph
0-62 mph:5.7 seconds
Drive:N/A
Electric Motor (kW):250
Max Power (hp):340
Torque (Nm):430
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,125
Colours:6

BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):337 – 352 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.7 – 3.6
Charging:200 kW DC charging (10-80%: 31 minutes). On board charger: 11 kW
Top Speed:118 mph
0-62 mph:5.7 seconds
Drive:N/A
Electric Motor (kW):250
Max Power (hp):340
Torque (Nm):430
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,125
Colours:6

BMW i4 M50
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):258 – 318 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.4 – 2.8
Charging:200 kW DC charging (10-80%: 31 minutes). On board charger: 11 kW
Top Speed:139 mph
0-62 mph:3.9 seconds
Drive:N/A
Electric Motor (kW):400
Max Power (hp):544
Torque (Nm):795
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,290
Colours:6

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EV Charging Stations Available Via e-zoomed (credit: Wallbox)

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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