Yes, BMW built it and showed it off at the recent LA Auto Show, akwaman. But this coupe is not as far along as the i3 five-door, which is the one that will come out in 2013. As to whether they will make their 2013 production schedule...I think they will. We've been talking to them about the i3 and i8 since 2011 and they haven't wavered from that schedule.
BMW is saying that this isn't a so-called "compliance car," Cadman-LT. All automakers say that, of course, but I tend to believe it in this case. We'll know better when the i3 hits the road late next year, though.
Good questions, JayBee. Yes, the three-hour recharge time is for a residential location operating at 30A and 240V. The i3's battery is is not terribly big -- about 21 kWh, which makes it larger than the Volt's 16-kWh battery butsmaller than the Leaf's 24-kWh battery. It's also significantly smaller than the BMW ActiveE (an electric demonstration car from BMW) battery, which was 32-kWh. Regarding the DC fast charge: This is the SAE DC fast charge methodology. BMW is officially saying that the DC fast charge would be one hour, but I think they're being conservative. It's probably closer to 30 minutes. But that's a 480V, three-phase power, which homes typically don't have. Sorry we didn't mention this in the article.
Arden Dulou: Maybe you don't understand the concept of fuel cells. A fuel cell is like a battery, only it doesn't store energy, it creates it (electricty) on-the-fly by harvesting the electrons from a chemical reaction. You would use the same exact Electric Vehicle, but instead of a giant battery, you would replace it with a small fuel cell and a container to house the fuel (H2?).
Did BMW actually build one of these, or is it just an idea? There seems to be a lot of claims of what it "will" do, and very little actual details. Anyone can say that they will have an electric that goes 100 miles/(1 hr charge), but can they realistically deliver this by 2013?
I think the main disadvantage of motor-in-wheel is the radical increase in unsprung weight. Perhaps it's affect on ride quality has kept it out of (most) electric vech. Active suspension systems could be required to make it work for production cars. Catapillar will continue to use it in their machines, at least until dirt goes digital! ;^)
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