According to BMW’s Iam Robertson, “BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility – all with a focus on sustainability.”
The BMW i3, which has previously been refered to as the Megacity Vehicle, will be the BMW Group’s first electric production car for urban areas. The i8, meanwhile, will be based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Its plug-in hybrid drive blends the sporting ability of a high-performance machine with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car.
Both models are based on a revolutionary construction concept known as LifeDrive architecture – an aluminum chassis houses the powertrain, and the passenger cell consists of high-strength but lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
Like the BMW i3, the i8 will be manufactured at BMW’s Leipzig plant. Around 400 million euros will be invested in new plant facilities, and some 800 jobs will be created up to 2013.
Development and production efficiencies will be achieved through shared component sets for the electric motors, electronics and high-voltage lithium-ion batteries.
An additional range of mobility services will be integral to BMW I, and can be used independently of the cars. “Mobility requirements are changing in rapidly expanding megacities,” added Robertson. “Our commitment to car-enabled mobility services, like BMW ConnectedDrive, will be significantly expanded under BMW i. We’ll also grow our car-related mobility services.” The focus is on solutions to improve use of existing parking spaces, as well as intelligent navigation systems with local information, intermodal route planning and premium car-sharing.
In addition to services developed in-house, the BMW Group is pursuing collaborations with partners and exploring strategic capital investments in providers of mobility services. To this end, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures has the goal to expand the range of products and services offered by BMW i in the long term by taking stakes in innovative service providers.
New York-based My City Way is the first company BMW i Ventures has taken a stake. As a mobile app, My City Way provides users with information on public transportation, parking availability, and local entertainment for over 40 cities in the US. Another 40 cities will be part of the global rollout, including Munich.