I have spent a considerable amount of time pondering on where the automotive industry is headed; with the scarcity of fossil fuels, not to mention the hike of fuel price every other day. Then one day I came across the ‘i’ concept by BMW, and I saw the much needed spark of hope. Let me share it with you, since I have a firm belief that the i-concept is going to be the game changer and deliver a clear reduction in consumption and emission while increasing performance and driving pleasure.
What is the ‘i’ concept?
BMW i is a comprehensive and ground-breaking concept for sustainable mobility. It represents visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.
BMW i is all about visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability and pursues a holistic approach.
BMW has incorporated some key alterations which are benchmark to making this car a success. Let’s look at what they are:
- Carbon Fibre– BMW i is revolutionising automotive engineering with the first series-produced passenger cells made of carbon, components from BMW EfficientDynamics lightweight construction technology. Carbon is around 50 % lighter than steel and around 30 % lighter than aluminium, allowing BMW i to set new standards in lightweight construction.
- LifeDrive Architecture– BMW LifeDrive is the first architecture to be custom-built for electric cars. It is made up of two separate units: the Life module, the passenger cell made of carbon, and the Drive module with suspension and drive components and the high-voltage battery. The advantage? By securely housing all drive components in the lower module, there is no tunnel running through the middle of the car, thus leaving more room for passengers. The LifeDrive architecture not only compensates for the extra weight of the battery, it also lowers the car’s centre of gravity, giving every BMW i the kind of agility you’ve grown to expect from BMW.
- eDrive Technology– The innovative BMW eDrive technology is the result of many years of BMW EfficientDynamics development work. he entire torque of the extremely agile electric motor is available virtually from a standing start, and uninterrupted acceleration is maintained up to the maximum speed. Innovative battery technology combines the ultra-powerful high-voltage battery with a cooling system that keeps the battery at the ideal operating temperature and boosts its performance and lifetime. The intelligent energy management system coordinates optimal interaction between the electric motor and the high-voltage battery with the goal of maximum performance with minimum consumption.
- Design Philosophy– BMW i applies a consistent design philosophy combining innovative sustainability with premium quality in all BMW i models. For example, the black belt that runs from the hood over the roof to the rear, the typical BMW i stream-flow design, the aero-flaps and characteristic features like the U-shaped LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights. Sustainably produced, light materials are also a defining feature of the interior.BMW has two variants wherein the i concept has been incorporated: the i3 and the i8, about which I am not going to descuss in this article. However, BMW i surely is redefining the understanding of personal mobility with purpose-built car concepts, a focus on sustainability throughout the entire value chain and a whole host of complementary mobility services.