I agree, AnandY. The price of this vehicle is surprising, especially coming from an established luxury car maker. It's considerably beneath the Tesla Model S, which should make for an interesting competition between the two.
It is good to see that luxury cars are opting for the environmental way though I must say the price of the BMW i3 is not what people think when the model is mentioned, the price is very friendly in addition to the fact that it is an EV. Maybe this is the way to go for the like of Benz and the Rovers.
Charles, I think i3 is the first electric car from the automaker BMW. That's means it's going to be the age of either electric or hybrid cars; otherwise they won't step in to that segment. Since we canot rely on cruedoil always, there is no doubt that electric cars are going to be flurished in market
You raise good points, bobjengr. One of the points that some automakers have made is that the driver's life needs to be predictable in order for a pure electric to serve adequately. A 289-mile round trip ending at 2 a.m. doesn't fall in that "predictable" category.
I agree, it's not something they're likely to have handy, an as Burghermeister pointed out drag coefficients are typically only in reference to forward motion. It may well be that BMW has done their due diligence on this, but because carbon fibre SUV's are a relatively new phenomenon maybe not. Sports cars while affected by this.are to a much. Lesser extent. BTW fullstop after much was because whoever wrote the predictive typing.for Android never figured on anyone wanting to type the word lesser after the word much. :-)
Thank you Charles for the update and excellent slide show. Yesterday (Friday) I completed the second phase of a project for a client in Atlanta. It was a very long day ending with the accumulation of 289 miles round trip at 0218 hrs in the morning. This very fact highlights why I could not purchase a car such as this with an 81 to 99 mile travel distance. Even with the extended package, I could possibly be in trouble during the early morning hours. Now, using the i3 as a "commuter" car--OK, I'm on board with that. Drive, park, charge, work, unplug and drive home; maybe so but with the price tag being $41K plus, it's quite a challenge to undertake. Also, for me, there is the question of annual costs for maintenance and possible reliability issues. One thing that seems reasonable to state: BMW feels this is the "wave of the future" if they are willing to make the sizable investment in design, fabrication and assembly.
I understand your concern better with that clarification. Certainly an SUV is not aerodynamically optimal especially regarding the exposed side sail area and dynamic wind load gradient (gusts). I have experienced this specifically when blowing by semi trailers during strong sidewind conditions, in days gone by.....since there is a strong pressure wave propagating off the front. It is somewhat like a bow wave off the front of a boat, except water is not a compressible medium.
Small tweak suggestion to your statement "This is all driven by exposed surface area to weight for a given geometric form "SUV" in this case." I recommend appending "Up to the frictional limit of the four contact patches" since this is the point where frictional limits end and an "exciting" ride begins...in the case of real world vehicles. I had the direct thrill when crossing this transition point experience.....long ago.
From analysis perspective, the Finite Element Analysis and Compressible Fluid Dynamics model simulation runs of this vehicle would be interesting to see in comparison to a "normal" vehicle configuration. I do not believe vehicles are really wind tunnel tested in cross vehicle platform modes....perhaps might be a heads up additional test to confirm cross vehicle gust response....while running on a vehicle chassis roll tester. (Would be an interesting wind tunnel/tester design problem.)
BMW has resources and German fine engineering aplenty....they can do all these simulation runs, and the German engineers also are pragmatic about building/testing real vehicles at the end to learn real lessons and not make end customers "Beta testers" of the real world vehicles. I have worked with the Germans in different life adventures and it is a positive experience to see both theoretical and real world engineering, culminate into real nice products.
I say we now need to test drive one of these vehicles fast and furious, to really experience it.
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