The ultimate driving EV? BMW launches all-electric i3 | The Verge

BMW i3 hero

This is the automaker’s first genuine, built-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle. As you’d guess, the car introduces a number of other firsts for the German company. Chief among them is a passenger compartment made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic — a breakthrough design element that results in a weight of only 2,600 pounds. Today, at simultaneous events held in New York City, London, and Beijing, the company finally took the wraps off its production model i3. BMW says the EV is capable of maximum distances ranging between 80 to 100 miles, powered by a 170-horsepower electric motor. The i3 will arrive in the US in the second quarter of next year priced at $41,350 to start, but European drivers will begin seeing it this November.

  • On the eve of its public unveiling, the production BMW i3 remains hidden beneath a white cover. (Image credit: BMW Group)

  • BMW’s reveal of the i3 EV draws near as press begin to assemble for the company’s New York City event.

  • BMW held a live simulcast connecting New York, London, and Beijing to showcase the production model i3.

  • The cover finally comes off BMW’s i3 electric car, providing the first glimpse at a production model of the hatchback. (Image credit: BMW Group)

  • BMW’s senior executives were joined by a future driver for the i3 unveiling.

  • One of the BMW i3’s most unique features isn’t visible from the outside. Its passenger compartment is made entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, leading to a much lighter vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice on safety.

  • BMW’s iconic logo is surrounded by the chrome wheels of the new i3 hatchback EV.

  • As soon as the white cover was pulled away, members of the press began snapping photos of the BMW i3.

  • On the roof of its New York City venue, BMW showed off another of the i3’s available finish options.

  • Backed by a 170-horsepower electric motor, the BMW i3 can take you from zero to 60 in seven seconds.

  • Unfortunately for journalists eager to sample the BMW i3’s interior, the car was locked.

  • BMW executive Peter Schwarzenbauer fields one of many press questions about the production i3 and its $41,350 price tag.

  • Back downstairs, BMW continues to showcase its brand new i3 EV as a special guest arrives.

  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to praise the BMW i3’s environment-friendly engineering.

  • Bloomberg revealed that he once owned a BMW — before the private car that came with his current job.

  • Bloomberg, a major proponent of green initiatives, congratulated BMW on the i3’s unveiling.

  • BMW’s designers will tell you that the i3 is a vehicle built for the future, but blue accents are an immediate reminder of the automaker’s legacy.

  • From a performance standpoint, BMW’s i3 ranks similarly to the electric competition.

  • BMW finally opens the doors on the i3, granting onlookers a tour of the new EV’s interior.

  • There’s no shortage of electronics mixed in with the i3’s wood paneling and other refinements, but by designing an EV from the ground up, BMW has afforded the car a spacious interior.

  • When it comes to navigation, automakers still prefer building their own software rather than integrating a native Google Maps experience.

  • A touch display near the i3’s steering column offers quick access to gear selections and keyless ignition.

  • It’s not exactly a sports coupe, but the BMW i3’s hatchback design offers plenty of storage space.

  • BMW’s executive team and Mayor Bloomberg after B

Source: The Verge.

DailyTech – Follow-up: Top Gear Executive Producer Responds to Tesla’s EV Lawsuit

Top Gear Executive Producer fires back at Tesla Motors

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In the eyes of many parents, their children can do no wrong. Efforts by others to point out any wrongdoings can be met with contempt or denial by parents. Like a parent scorned by a watchful school teacher, Tesla Motors lashed out at the BBC’s popular Top Gear program after its battery of tests showed that the all-electric Roadster was anything but perfect.

Tesla filed a lawsuit against the BBC last week, citing numerous errors in Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the Roadster and basically called the Top Gear crew a bunch of liars. Tesla went on to say that even though the original episode featuring the roadster aired over two years ago, the fact that the episode is still rebroadcast and available freely over the internet means that potential customers are not getting the “real” story on its “baby”.

While the BBC issues a brief statement following the announcement of the lawsuit last week stating that it would “vigorously defend” Top Gear, the show’s executive producer is firing back with full force now.

“The normal procedure for the BBC in a legal case is to acknowledge receipt of the other party’s claim, and then say no more and get on with preparing its [defense] for court,” said Top Gear Executive Producer Andy Wilman. “Tesla, however, doesn’t seem content to wait for the legal eagles to settle matters. On the contrary, it’s been very busy promoting its side of the argument through the media.”

Wilman goes on to counter three of Tesla’s sticking points in a blog post:

  1. We never said that the Tesla’s true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: “We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles”… The figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’s boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles.
  2. We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had “reduced power”. This was true.
  3. Tesla claims we were lying when we said the brakes were “broken”. They now say that all that had happened was that the fuse to the vacuum pump had failed, which meant that the brake just had to be pushed down much harder than usual. Well – to my mind, if the brakes are broken, then they’re broken, and if this happened to your car, you’d take it to the garage to get it fixed.

We’ll keep you posted on how this legal dustup progresses, but it appears that Tesla may be biting off more than it can chew in this case.
Source: DailyTech.