BMW i launched to market new range of electric cars

BMW has launched the sub brand it will use to sell a separate range of new electric and hybrid cars.

BMW i is intended to focus on sustainable mobility solutions, and will launch two new models, dubbed the i3 and i8, in 2013.
The range is expected to expand rapidly though, with the manufacturer establishing a venture capital company in New York funded by a $100m investment.

"BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility – all with a focus on sustainability", explained board member, Ian Robertson.

The i3 and i8 have already been previewed respectively by the Megacity Vehicle and the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study.

The i3 will be the manufacturer's first all-electric car built specifically for an urban environment and is expected to use a similar driveline to the one showcased in the 1-Series ActiveE.

Both I models will benefit from a new construction technique dubbed LifeDrive architecture. The technology includes an aluminium chassis to house the powertrain and a passenger cell built from lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic.

BMW insists that the extremely low weight of the new platform will practically cancel out the inherent disadvantage of using heavy lithium-ion batteries.
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