Appearing like something out of the movie Tron, the BMW i3 with range extender is literally a slice of the future you can own today.
The BMW i3 with range extender is a super efficient inner city commuter; it is the perfect alternative to a hybrid, and you can get yourself one today. BMW has not only broken away from their traditional production of petrol and diesel run cars, but they have also innovated a brand new way to extend the range with a rather creative combination of engine styles.
In other words, the future of how engines will run in cars, exists now today. In a regular hybrid, the car is assumed to be getting the best of both worlds. You have a vehicle that utilizes electricity to control the wheels, and petrol which serves the motor. This leads to greater fuel economy, and emissions are reduced.
However, what BMW has done with the i3 is rather profound. The vehicle itself runs on electricity alone, and incredibly the latest 2017 version boasts a range of 114 miles. This 33 kW battery is 50% larger than the original 2014 model which only had a range of 81 miles. Still, this seems small, and BMW admits that they did not design the car for long journeys. Nevertheless, it is the unique and innovative range extender that can allow drivers to go further on special occasions.
When the electric car battery depletes to around 6 % capacity, an additional petrol engine kicks in to boost the electric battery by around 30%. This extra petrol engine is essentially a motorcycle engine, derived from BMWs own C600. Consequently, this increases the driving range by an extra 90 miles.
Revolutionary engine system
BMW estimates that on longer trips, the petrol would need to be topped up around every 60 miles. This extra back up engine is only 2.4 gallons, is two cylinder and is has 38 horsepower. Its small size takes up much less space inside the vehicle. Furthermore, what makes this extra engine so revolutionary, is that in an instance where there has been no time to charge the car, it can be run on petrol alone.
The car needs around 3 hours to charge on a regular household 220-volt circuit. If the driver has access to a 440-volt high-amp DC express charging source, the charging time drops to around 20 minutes, in order to raise the battery capacity by 80%. The maximum horsepower that the motor produces is 170, and the torque is 184 lb/ft.
The driving experience
When the driver enters the car, they notice it is compact in space. The interior is tight but efficient. It comes with all the modern trims such as GPS, yet retains the expected wooden BMW trimmings. Once the car is started, it gets from 0 to 60 in around 7 seconds, which is remarkably quick compared to the approximately 10 seconds it takes in other cars.