- Published: Friday, 16 June 2017 13:23
The modern fear of running out of battery power is groundless with BMW’s enduring i3 electric vehicle
SINGAPORE - It’s kind of sad that we live in an era where a prevailing fear is being out of cellular phone contact. There’s even a term for it ‘nomophobia’ (as in ‘no mobile’ phobia’), which refers to anxiety that results from having no cellphone access due to lack of coverage or being out of battery.
Those with a distinct lack of imagination might easily transfer that nervousness to cars - after all, it’s accepted that electric vehicles (EVs) play a huge role in mobility of the future.
But BMW already has an EV that can do everything a driver needs, and more.
Did you know that BMW has had a full-production scale EV on sale here in Singapore since 2015, and that its range is more than enough for almost any Singaporean driver?
Honestly, until the i3, we’d never considered EVs a real solution for mobility. EVs tested in real-life conditions typically started out quoting what seemed like a decent figure for daily commutes, but would chew through battery power quicker than an iPhone 6 Plus streaming Neflix at full-resolution.
The BMW i3, in comparison, can last multiple days of usage. BMW quotes an electric range of 130 to 160km, depending on drive mode, and extended to 240-300km with the on-board range-extender.
Having tested the car in Singapore, it lasted two and a half days into our three-day test drive,covering 110km before needed a top-up. And it’s not like we held back either, with everything from city traffic to proper 90km/h highway runs, the i3 took it all in its stride and kept on going, all the while reflecting an accurate and reliable range figure.
The BMW i3 can deliver real-life electric-only range of more than 100km - and that's the previous model with a smaller battery
The LTA says that the average Singaporean driver covers 17,800km a year, or 48km a day, so the i3 is quite comfortably able to meet the range needs of the majority of local drivers on electric power alone.
Of course there’s the added backup of the REX (range extender) and the fact that there are 60 charging stations at 32 locations around the island run by power network provider Greenlots.
But how did BMW create an EV that really, truly works and delivers the range expected of it, where all other manufacturers have, at least in Singapore, failed?
Carbonfibre passenger cell and aluminium running chassis. BMW's LifeDrive architecture is the most advanced for an EV
Well it all boils down to the fact that the i3 was designed from the ground up as an EV. It incorporates the latest construction and weight-saving techniques and materials, such as carbonfibre and its LifeDrive architecture, plus its advanced power electronics and battery management and cooling systems.
The innovation doesn’t end there, either: This year, BMW is unveiling an updated version of the i3, where the battery capacity improves from 22kWh to 33kWh, delivering 70km extra driving range for a minimum of 200km. Given Singapore’s approximately 50km long, that’s enough to traverse the island end-to-end four times again on battery power alone.
This special feature is brought to you by BMW i