New BMW brand for electric vehicles
24 February 2011
BMW has confirmed that it will launch two electric vehicles in 2013 under a new branding simply called i.
A lower medium model called i3 and a large sporty coupe i8 model will arrive within 30 months to launch the sub-brand. The i3 will be a pure electric vehicle, while the i8 has the facility to be either pure electric or a plug-in hybrid model with a three-cylinder petrol engine acting as a range extender for the battery. The i8 will be previewed by the Vision Connecteddrive concept car at the Geneva motor show. All BMW's electric vehicle developments are expected to go through the i branding, turning it into the equivalent of what the M branding has done for its performance range. There won't therefore be full production versions of Mini's E electric vehicle, or the
BMW i will also act as a technology showcase for the manufacturer, with a range of service independent of the cars also in the pipeline. As well as developing its Connected Drive car-based internet facility, the development will include collaborations with partner companies, the first of which was announced by BMW as a link with New York-based MY City Way. The mobile app provides user with information on public transport, parking and local entertainment for 40 American cities, and plans to expand by adding another 40 across the world.