With deliveries of the first 2014 BMW i3 battery-electric cars now just days away, BMW has busily been training service personnel and dealership staff on its new and radical design.
And an informed post on BMWBlog by a dealership employee who went through the multi-day course offers some new information about the car and its capabilities
Longtime i3 enthusiast and New Jersey dealership employee Manny Antunes has steadily been offering details about the i3 and its optional REx range-extending two-cylinder engine as that information comes into the dealership.
2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013
Among the 18 points he covered from the "Ride and Drive" course earlier this week are these:
- Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is quoted at 7.0 seconds for the battery-electric i3 and 7.9 seconds for the range-extended version
- BMW quotes curb weight as 2,634 pounds for the battery i3 and 2,899 for the version with a REx engine plus the associated gasoline tank and fuel plumbing
- That tank, however, will hold only 1.9 gallons, to keep the gasoline range below that provided by the battery alone
- The range extender switches on when battery capacity falls to 5 or 6 percent; a driver cannot switch it on, or direct the car to conserve battery charge
- BMW's 240-Volt Level 2 charging station, which the company calls its "Wallbox," costs $1,080, and its cost can be rolled into the BMW i3 vehicle financing
- The lithium-ion battery pack is warranted at eight years/100,000 miles in most states, 10 years/150,000 miles in states with California emissions laws
- BMW also warrants the battery against loss of more than 30 percent of its energy capacity over the warranty period
Antunes' piece has a number of other points and is worth reading in full.
Meanwhile, anxious drivers from the BMW ActiveE test fleet and others who simply want a BMW electric car will start to see cars in some local dealerships within a couple of weeks.
The company recently said it would boost production of BMW i3 cars in response to strong orders from German customers.
Electric-car advocates and BMW fans alike will be waiting to see how U.S. buyers (and dealers) respond to the unusual looking but very advanced i3 design in the months ahead.