The new BMW i4 will be able to achieve 600km driving range on a single charge, according to specifications for its new all-electric gran coupé released on Tuesday morning (Australian time).
BMW says the i4 achieves the 600km range (373 miles) thanks to a compact 80kWh battery pack, using new battery cell tech that allows a high energy density and weighs in at just 500kg.
Together with a 390kW electric motor output that delivers similar power to BMW’s V8 engines, the i4 also brings BMW’s 5th generation eDrive technology that will be replicated in the iX3 elecric car that will be released in 2020 and BMW’s futuristic iNEXT.
Images supplied by the car maker are the same of the i4 doing its winter trials that we first saw in May, along with images of its BMWi Vision Dynamics concept upon which the i4 is based.
Even though BMW has said before that it doesn’t believe that people want all-electric cars, it has certainly put a great deal of thought into the i4.
A top charging rate of 150kW enables 0-80% charging in 35 minutes that equates to 100km driving range added every 6 minutes – or 1,000km/hr.
This, along with 600km driving range (although not an official WLTP rating) makes the i4 comparable to long range Tesla vehicles.
But the i4, which will not be available until 2021, will have some hard work to do if it is to catch up Tesla’s success on a global scale.
Fellow German carmaker VW in early November began its own electric offensive with the first ID3 hatchback now being produced in Zwickau and an ID4 electric SUV, just one of a whole family of ID series on the drawing board.
BMW’s new direction in electromobility – foreshadowed in its hybrid i8 coupé – is all about performance and driving pleasure.
The i4 gives away the light carbon chassis and “suicide door” of the quirky i3 in favour of 4-door gran coupé styling, boasts acceleration from 0-100km/hr in 4.0 seconds, and speeds of more than 200km/hr.
BMW is targeting another doubling in energy density by 2030 – and will also aim for a lighter, less labour intensive electric motor that is integrated with transmission and power electronics in a single housing
It has committed to an €200 million ($A325 million) investment into upgrading its Munich plant where the i4 will start production in 2021.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.