Still looking very much like an avant-garde prototype and not like an actual production model, the much anticipated i3 electric car from BMW is ready for preorders, with deliveries starting in November. Ideal for city drive, the zero-emissions compact car features a 170bhp, 184lb-ft of torque electric motor, which gives it quite a bit of umpf on the road.
Take this power and give it to a very lightweight car, and what you get is some impressive speed figures, especially for an electric vehicle. More exactly, the i3 weighs only 1,195kg (2,634lbs) and can complete the 0-62 mph sprint in 7.2 seconds. The remarkably low curb weight is obtained by using only very lightweight materials for the car’s construction: aluminum, carbon fiber reinforced plastic and even wood.
Of course, your next two questions will be related to the vehicle’s range and charging mechanism. Well, according to its makers, the i3 has a 230 kg (507 lbs) battery that can keep it moving for up to 80-100 miles. If that is not enough, customers can also choose the optional Range Extender, which is a 650cc petrol engine with 34 hp, and which powers a generator that recharges the battery. This clever mechanism can extend the range to 160-186 miles.
And finally yes, the battery can be charged from a regular household socket in 8-10 hours, but if you want a shorter charging time you should use the BMW ‘Wallbox’ system, which does the job in only 3 hours. Price for the standard i3 is approximately $39,000.