Columnist Gary Witzenburg drives the BMW i8 for a week and starts to wonder why the Germans built this EV.
BMW has found a receptive audience for its first batches of plug-in vehicles in the good 'ole USA. The German automaker, which started selling its first mass-produced i plug-ins in Europe late last year, will send a higher percentage of those vehicles to the US because of strong demand here, according to Automotive News, which talked with BMW executive Ian Robertson. And the Americans might cause Bimmer to speed up production, to boot.
Apple unveiled details about its long-awaited Apple Watch yesterday and we now know that the $349, er, watch will be released to the public early next year. Amid the millions of features the watch has is the ability to provide real-time information on the battery charge level in a BMW i3 or i8 plug-in vehicle. The watches can also help locate the vehicles if, say, they're parked in a crowded lot. Because so many of us lose our Bimmers on a daily basis.
Here are some numbers. The standard BMW i8 starts at starts at $135,700. The first i8 in the US was auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this past weekend and the auctioneers, Gooding & Company, said before the gavel was lifted the fist time that they expected the i8 with unique Frozen Grey Metallic and other upgrades to raise between $150,000 and $200,000 for the Pebble Beach Company Foundation. Turns out, the car eventually sold for $825,000 to an unnamed buyer.
Reports that the BMW i8 would be a popular plug-in vehicle have been circulating since stories claiming 'sold out' status circulated late last year. Those turned out not to be entirely true, but now that deliveries have actually started, the $160,000 EV is proving to be only available to the patient in posh English shops.
Gift to the world or trade bait? Tesla Motors announced this week it would open its patents for other automakers to use. That has analysts guessing whether the California-based electric-vehicle maker is looking to either swap trade secrets with other automakers or to expand the proverbial pie that represents the plug-in vehicle market. For its part, Tesla says the answer is B.
BMW is feeling continued good vibes from its recently launched i sub-brand of plug-in vehicles. The German automaker, which started selling its i3 battery-electric vehicle in Europe late last year, is finding better-than-expected demand for both the i3 and the i8 plug-in hybrid, Automotive News Europe says, citing an interview with BMW executive Ian Robertson.
Anyone who questions BMW's effort or sincerity on electrified vehicles should have a chat with Hildegard Wortmann, the German automaker's senior vice president over product management for automobiles and aftersales. I was fortunate to do just that at the Detroit North American International Auto Show earlier this year.
Coaches like to say that there's no "i" in team. At least one BMW executive is saying the company's not sure if there are any more "i"s in its near future. BMW executive Harald Krueger indicated that the German automaker is holding back on any i-project plans besides the i3 city car and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car until the company gets a better idea of how those models are selling, Reuters says. Bimmer has spent about $2.7 billion on the plug-in sub-brand and says it's taken more than 11,000 o
BMW is increasing the use of hydrogen in assembly line equipment powered by fuel cells, including fork lifts and motorized parts delivery carts. The fuel cells also will help power the company's vehicle test fleet, which has doubled in the past few years to more than 200. The additional fuel cell material – hydrogen – is being manufactured at BMW's four million square foot factory in Spartanburg, SC.
To paraphrase the old Sally Field line from the Oscars: they liked 'em. They really liked 'em. With BMW set to unveil its first two plug-ins under its "i" badge within the next 12 months or so (the i3 is due in late 2013, the i8 in the first half of 2014), journalists from Car Magazine and UK's Autocar recently had the chance to go for some test drives.
BMW has been at the forefront of volume automakers looking to invest in carbon fiber technology. The latest development in the German automaker's efforts is in the form of a joint venture with aircraft giant Boeing. According to a joint press release, the two companies will collaborate on further development of the lightweight material, including production methods and carbon fiber recycling.
The BMW i8 is still dashing through the snow on its way to a 2013 debut, and getting more revealing as it does so. The outline of the kidney grille has opened up a bit, and the outline of a Hoffmeister kink has been placed at the rear of the side windows. The door handles appear to have moved off the doors themselves to a spot behind the door shutline. It's too early to tell definitively, but the new door handle location and the lack of the once-plain gap at the A-pillar lead us to believe that
The 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show was filled with innovations in safety, infotainment, and battery-powered electric vehicles. With plenty of tech to pick from, we decided to dive a bit deeper on two of our favorites from the show: the Chevy Spark EV and BMW i3 Coupe. Chevy Spark EV
Automobile has taken a look into the medium-term future product plans of the German automakers, and one of the interesting nuggets is that BMW is still working on an M8. An updated BMW M1 has been a fantasy since the last of the 456 original M1s rolled off the line in 1981, and we're told that the coming M8 will finally be the proper successor.
For the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, BMW will show off a new i3 concept – "admittedly a tease," we were told – and not some sort of plug-in i4, as had been rumored. While we won't be seeing the production version of the city electric, the good news is that each iteration of the concept does bring us closer to the production version. For example, the i3 on display in New York as part of BMW's "Born Electric" tour last week still had glass doors. It's pretty obvious that the produc
In a sense, the Olympic games have always been a celebration of mobility. For years, athletes have trained in hopes of extending their mobile capabilities--weather it be running faster or jumping farther. But, in modern times, transporting all those athletes and their teams around an Olympic host city is an extraordinary achievement unto itself. As an Olympic sponsor, BMW hoped to meet the transporation needs of the London 2012 Olympics in a more efficient manner than ever before.