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Auto Special: BMW's electric car environmentally friendly inside and out

Updated: 2014-04-25 06:57
By Zhuan Ti ( China Daily)

 Auto Special: BMW's electric car environmentally friendly inside and out

The full line-up of the BMW i3. Bookings for the BMW i3 began on April 20, with prices starting at 450,000 yuan ($73,770) and rising to 520,000 yuan with added extras. Photos provided to China Daily

The pure electric BMW i3, used as a free shuttle at Auto China 2014, has become a highlight at the ongoing event.

The public can register online to experience the new environmentally friendly and agile car.

Bookings for the BMW i3 began on April 20, with prices starting at 450,000 yuan ($73,770) and rising to 520,000 yuan with added extras.

The electronic car is an upgrade developed from the BMW i3 concept car.

Made with the design philosophy of "stream flow" in mind, it has a streamlined body and refined rear.

In terms of size the BMW i3 has the similar body size as other standard microcars.

In a bid to help it look bigger, the new car has an expanded windshield and large wheels, but the door design remains the same as in the concept model.

In terms of safety, the BMW i3 uses a Life Drive structure with carbon fiber reinforced plastic in its body, seats, engine, chassis and accumulator.

In terms of interior design, the simplicity represents the future of pure electric cars.

A small liquid crystal display on the steering wheel transmits the car's information to the driver. It is also equipped with lightweight seats.

The BMW i3 also boasts unique environmentally friendly characteristics.

All materials used in the interior are recyclable and the almost symmetrical curved dashboard is inlaid with treated eucalyptus wood. BMW's policy states that for every eucalyptus tree used it will replant one.

The seat covers use a combination of responsibly sourced wool and leather naturally tanned with an olive oil leaf based agent.

A quarter of the plastics in the car are made from recycled materials.

Electric car

The BMW i3 has a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor with peak power of 170 hp. The torque can hit 250 Nm.

The car takes 7.2 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h and its top speed is 150 km/h.

The i3 has a 650cc double cylinder gasoline engine, which can charge the power engine.

The car can run 160 kilometers with one charge, which meets the demand and covers the distances needed in most cities. If drivers use the Eco Pro or Eco Pro+ mode the car can run for 185 km per charge.

If all energy-saving settings are turned on the electric car's maximum possible range extends to 320 km.

As charging facilities are a top concern of customers, the BMW i3 offers household-use charging facilities, which take six hours to give a full charge.

As the battery is located in a different place to that of a fuel car the BMW i3's floor is flat. The 2,750-mm wheel base offer spacious room.

The 4.93-meter-turning radius eases the pressures of city driving.

Environmental protection

All processes of production for the BMW i3 are as environmentally friendly as they can be.

In the Leipzig plant, all power used to manufacture the i3 comes from wind power turbines.

Compared with traditional manufacturing of similar sized cars, the i3 saves 50 percent energy and 70 percent water.

In China the i3 will be sold in 5S dealer shops, which comply with BMW's sustainable development standards in environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

BMW Connected Drive technology offers clients special services. Its navigating system tells drivers the most efficient route based on its power volume.

Drivers can also use smart-phones to remotely control the car. For example, they can adjust the power charging time and the automatic air conditioning to get the car to an ideal temperature before setting off.

The remote battery control can monitor the power and update the driver with short messages.

360°integrated services

When the i3 entered the market, BWM offered an integrated service to local families, including household and public charging services and on-trip services.

In terms of household charging solutions BMW has teamed up with its dealers to provide feasible solutions. Engineers can install charging facilities at customer's homes and offer help and advice.

For on-trip and mobile phone services BMW has beefed up its efforts to help clients.

Package services with car sales hope to maximize clients' trust in the new energy cars.

Currently the company has authorized seven 5S dealers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Shenyang to offer such services and set up exhibitions of BMW i.

The company has also trained staff members and in the future plans to steadily expand the BMW i dealer network.

The all-new pure electric BMW i3 will enter the Chinese market in September this year, with the company already receiving pre-bookings.