BMW launched its first fully electric production car in 2013. Since then the brand has launched several plug-in hybrid vehicles alongside traditional petrol and diesel engines. There are currently two cars in the BMW electric car range, the BMW i3 and BMW iX3.
The BMW i3 is an all-electric hatchback produced by BMW. The BMW i3 is the brands best selling electric vehicle, with over 200,000 produced since its introduction in 2013. It is the smallest car in the BMW electric car range.
Two models are available, the standard i3 and upgraded i3s. The standard model starts at £36,575 and offers 170hp from a 33kWh battery and is capable of 186 miles on a single charge. The standard i3 is capable of 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 93mph.
The BMW i3s offers a sportier alternative to the standard i3 at the expense of a shorter overall range. The i3s receives an extra 14 bhp, lowered suspension and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). The extra power means the i3s can achieve a 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds and a raised top speed of 99 mph. The range is lower at 152 miles as per WTLP figure. The i3s also receives several visual changes including revised bumpers, black wheel arches and a black roof swatch. This model is offered from £39,105.
A small petrol engine that acts as a range extender can be added as an optional extra, providing no propulsion to the wheels but instead charging the batteries as required. The engine is a BMW 647cc two-cylinder moped engine.
Both models also feature advanced and sustainable production techniques that include both the use of recycled plastics in the interior as well as renewable materials. The i3 also features carbon fibre-reinforced plastics in its construction, which is both lightweight and protects its occupants.
Both i3 models also feature iDrive as standard, which is designed to aid urban electric car use with real-time traffic updates and ‘On-Street Parking Infomation.’ All cars come with Apple CarPlay as standard.
BMW iX3 – First electric X3
A joint venture between BMW and Brilliance, the BMW iX3 is BMW’s first all-electric SUV. Featuring an 80 kWh battery, the iX3 is capable of a 290-mile range, based on WTLP figures. The battery is also capable of charging to 80% in 34 minutes using a 150kW charger. The iX3 produces 296bhp, sent to the rear wheels only. The iX3 features the fifth generation of the BMW eDrive system.
Located within the body of the car, the iX3 gains a lower centre of gravity than the standard X3. These batteries only cost the iX3 40 litres of boot space, meaning the iX3 offers 510 litres of boot space.
Revised styling reduces the drag coefficient to 0.29Cd thanks to a filled-in front grille and new aerodynamic wheel designs. The iX3 also makes use of blue styling elements throughout to show its electric drivetrain.
The ix3 is currently available to order in two specs, the Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro. The former retails from £61,900 and includes as standard a panoramic roof, heated front seats and an electronically operated tailgate.
The latter Premier Edition Pro is offered from £64,900 and, as well as including the features included on the Premier Edition, also includes a Harman Kardon sound system, gesture control, a head-up display and adjustable lumbar support.
The iX3 features a 10.25-inch infotainment display running iDrive as standard and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system will also be capable of receiving over the air updates.
This model is the latest in the BMW electric car range, with production beginning in September 2020 and UK deliveries scheduled to start in Summer 2021.