Currently reading: BMW i5 decision 'in final stages'
Stablemate to the i3 and i8 is tipped to appear in 2016 - as board member confirms verdict on body style is imminent
Matt Burt
News
2 mins read
29 November 2015

BMW is in “the final stages” of deciding which type of model it will add to its line-up of i electric vehicles, according to the company’s board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson.

BMW i Vision Dynamics previews i5 production model 

The German manufacturer is said to have been weighing up the merits of two different vehicle configurations for the next car, which is widely tipped to be badged i5. One car is a lengthened version of the i3 - almost a mini-MPV - while the other is said to be a saloon that could rival Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3.

Read our review on the BMW i3

“You will see more i products,” said Robertson, “and we are in the final stages of deciding what the next car will be and when you’ll see it.” An unveiling to coincide with BMW’s centenary celebrations next spring seems likely - and Robertson said, “We will look back 100 years at that point, but mainly into the future.”

Robertson also admitted that the i3’s modest sales figures are being governed by demand, rather than the industrialisation and production issues that troubled the vehicle at the start of its life. “We see lots of outside factors involved,” he said, “including range anxiety, incentives in some countries but not in others, and the price of fuel [in the United States]. But sales of the i3 are up 60% year on year and it’s the third best-selling EV in the world. We’re convinced the i steps have been right.”

The i8 sports car is considered more of a retail success than its smaller brother, with a healthy waiting list of orders.

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BMW i3s

Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune

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Mikey C 1 December 2015

Anyway, with all the coal

Anyway, with all the coal fired power stations rapidly closing down and the Nuclears YEARS away, we'll soon be faced with power shortages and cuts.

A mass swap to electric cars (while good for urban air quality) would just make things worse...

Phil R 1 December 2015

Mikey C wrote: Anyway, with

Mikey C wrote:

Anyway, with all the coal fired power stations rapidly closing down and the Nuclears YEARS away, we'll soon be faced with power shortages and cuts.

A mass swap to electric cars (while good for urban air quality) would just make things worse...

There are two factors here you need to consider though. 1) Whilst it is likely that there will be more of a struggle at peak demand, it would be possible to charge the car up from 10PM to 8AM and not cause a problem. 2) Refining petrol/diesel takes up an awful lot of electricity, which comes straight from the national grid. From Coal power stations as well, making petrol/diesel emissions significantly higher than just the tailpipe ones out the back when one considers well to wheel.

russ13b 29 November 2015

silly question, but...

isn't the i3 one of those cars which is supposed to do three-figure mpg, but if you can't plug it in all the time does 50-60? making it a complicated way of making no progress?
xxxx 30 November 2015

Answer

russ13b wrote:

isn't the i3 one of those cars which is supposed to do three-figure mpg, but if you can't plug it in all the time does 50-60? making it a complicated way of making no progress?

If you can't plug it in at night for 7 hours whilst you're asleep don't buy one.

Phil R 30 November 2015

xxxx wrote: russ13b wrote:

xxxx wrote:
russ13b wrote:

isn't the i3 one of those cars which is supposed to do three-figure mpg, but if you can't plug it in all the time does 50-60? making it a complicated way of making no progress?

If you can't plug it in at night for 7 hours whilst you're asleep don't buy one.

What about the time when you're at work?

xxxx 30 November 2015

Work

Phil R wrote:
xxxx wrote:
russ13b wrote:

isn't the i3 one of those cars which is supposed to do three-figure mpg, but if you can't plug it in all the time does 50-60? making it a complicated way of making no progress?

If you can't plug it in at night for 7 hours whilst you're asleep don't buy one.

What about the time when you're at work?

Don't buy the car if your daily commute is > 100 miles or buy the range extender version, simples!

Adrian987 30 November 2015

25k+ annual miles...

xxxx wrote:

Don't buy the car if your daily commute is > 100 miles or buy the range extender version, simples!

If your daily commute is >100 miles (25k+ per annum), it might be financially unwise to put your money into an expensive vehicle, least of all a range extender, depreciation would likely be a killer blow and obliterate other savings.

xxxx 30 November 2015

That goes for any car

Adrian987 wrote:
xxxx wrote:

Don't buy the car if your daily commute is > 100 miles or buy the range extender version, simples!

If your daily commute is >100 miles (25k+ per annum), it might be financially unwise to put your money into an expensive vehicle, least of all a range extender, depreciation would likely be a killer blow and obliterate other savings.

It was an extreme example (but at least there would be savings!) and I too would spend about £8,000 on a secondhand car to a 25,000k commute. But perhaps it shows the i3 and Leaf range is already nearly there!

russ13b 1 December 2015

the point

i feel the point has been missed slightly. i, for one, couldn't plug one in at work or home, but this isn't what i was getting at. an i3 range extender, for all the design cleverness, advancements, and everything, does 50 - 60 mpg (according to a bmw spokesperson) if it is never plugged in. which, to me, shows it to be a very clever way of not actually making any progress in the area it's supposed to.
Adrian987 1 December 2015

@russ13b

What you have highlighted, quite rightly, is that a range extender does not work significantly better than a conventional car on pure fuel economy if you do not plug it in. That should come as no surprise, however, since that is not how such a vehicle is intended to be used for best effect the majority of the time. I believe the range extender is there for people who will mostly use electric from mains charging, but like/need some additional flexibilty for some occasions. Some may just like the i3 for being different, and quick!
winniethewoo 1 December 2015

Someone wrote an article in

Someone wrote an article in the Guardian newspaper about running an all electric i3 in London without a place to charge at home or at work. Unsurprisingly, it was a nightmare and the author wished she got a range extender version instead. She was caught out by seeing chargers all round London before purchase. When it came to actually charging up her i3 however, the network was a shambles, the charge stations didnt work half the time, there was a lot of incompatibility, and a multitude of companies with whom you need individual subscriptions. Boris Johnson is trying to get on top of it, to create a single maintenance / standards body. I wouldn't bother with any kind of electric or range extender vehicle (9litre petrol tank in the i3 range extender!) unless there was a charge point at home AND at work. Im quite interested to see how the mild hybrids with 48v systems will perform as they are phased in the next few years.
Phil R 1 December 2015

winniethewoo wrote: Someone

winniethewoo wrote:

Someone wrote an article in the Guardian newspaper about running an all electric i3 in London without a place to charge at home or at work. Unsurprisingly, it was a nightmare and the author wished she got a range extender version instead. She was caught out by seeing chargers all round London before purchase. When it came to actually charging up her i3 however, the network was a shambles, the charge stations didnt work half the time, there was a lot of incompatibility, and a multitude of companies with whom you need individual subscriptions. Boris Johnson is trying to get on top of it, to create a single maintenance / standards body. I wouldn't bother with any kind of electric or range extender vehicle (9litre petrol tank in the i3 range extender!) unless there was a charge point at home AND at work. Im quite interested to see how the mild hybrids with 48v systems will perform as they are phased in the next few years.

Agreed that the network can be a huge problem, but I think if you know your daily needs are 50 miles max (which is more than most people find theres are), you would only need the home charger and would get used to it very quickly.

Bert Nodules 29 November 2015

You obviously haven't driven in one Norma.

Having driven in an i3 I can say it is a superb little car, very well made and also designed and built differently to normal cars. It goes quite well, is all but silent, and would be excellent for the normal journeys most undertake daily. It would not be Autocar's favourite small hatch otherwise. Yes, it simply moves the Co2 from the street to the power station if it's gas/oil/coal fired but hopefully they can scrub the Co2 out of their emissions.
The i8 is also a good sports car, again built differently to the norm and that certainly does accelerate spiritedly although I do wonder about the other, more conventional, cars available at around the same price.

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