The German car company, BMW, known for producing luxury cars, also has some electric cars out on the market. The most recent models of BMW i3 and BMW i3s are all-electric luxury SUVs with a compact 5-seater, designed primarily for urban and suburban traveling. Both models have an enhanced 120Ah battery, which provides an all-electric range of up to almost 160 miles. Both the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are also available with an optional 650cc, twin-cylinder petrol engine for increasing range.
The difference between the BMW i3 and BMW i3s is subtle. Sport additions to the BMW i3s include altered steering, updates to the traction and stability controls, a lowered sport suspension, and a ‘sport’ driving mode which increases accelerator response. The BMW i3 accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in less than 8 seconds. The BMW i3s sprints slightly faster at 6.9 seconds. The BMW i3 and i3s have a 170 hp electric motor mounted on the rear axle to drive the rear wheels and the top speed of the car clocks in at 93 mph.
The all-electric BMW i3 was the first zero-emission, mass-produced car made by BMW and came out in 2013. The car has had great success since then. The BMW i3 ranked third among electric vehicles sold globally from 2014 to 2016. Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 in 2017 when the BMW i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car. Currently, BMW comes in fourth in rank of electric car companies with 129,000 units sold in 2018.
Recently BMW has introduced its wireless charging system for its electric car models to facilitate a quicker charge and zero cords and plug-ins needed. Compared to the plug-in charge which takes 8 hours for a full charge, the wireless system takes less than just 3 hours to charge to full capacity. The charging system works via two main components: a recharging coil fitted in the floor of the car and a floor-mounted base plate fitted with another coil. To charge the vehicle, all the driver needs to do is park their BMW i model over the metal plate so that the two coils are positioned directly above each other. The electric charge is then transmitted via an electromagnetic field generated by the electric coils, charging the battery quickly and effectively.
The 2019 model of BMW i3 starts at $44,450. The price for the 2019 model of the BMW i3s starts at $47,650. Although it may be one of the highest starting prices among small luxury cars, the BMW i models are one of the few all-electric sports cars available out there in the market. If you are interested in a few add-ons such as a more powerful motor and/or range-extending small gasoline engine the price can climb as high as $59,000.