Tech-obsessed and financially stable Americans have an almost fanatical devotion to Tesla’s Model S. The model was deemed “Most Loved” by the Consumer Love Index two years in a row and the Tesla brand currently sits atop Consumer Report’s Owner Satisfaction Rankings.
One place it hasn’t received top marks, however, is in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s recent evaluation of electrified vehicles. The Model S failed to earn the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation, losing out to the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius.
During the trials, the renowned Tesla only managed an “acceptable” rating in the challenging small overlap test, which simulates crashing into an overpass support beam or telephone pole. (Read More…)
Toyota’s going to market the new Prius Prime with laser-like precision. Is it because they want to embrace cutting-edge advertising methods, or is it because they don’t see it as a vehicle with particularly broad appeal?
That, BMW thinks it might want to keep an unpopular model around for another generation, Volvo issues a voluntary recall on seat belts, and Toyota and Nissan agree that their prospects have looked better in North America… after the break!
The LAPD liked them enough to buy a bundle, but lackluster demand for the oddly proportioned i3 has BMW executives locked in a battle over the brand’s product direction.
“Do we, or don’t we?” is the question, aimed squarely at the automaker’s plans to develop a number of electric vehicles. If this one isn’t selling well, some of the company’s top brass figure, why would we invest in building more?
According to Automotive News, the two camps are so divided that BMW’s management board has planned an intervention. (Read More…)
Have you been considering a new BMW but only have enough coin to buy one of Bavaria’s finest? At least one BMW dealer in the U.S. might have a solution.
If you don’t mind buying a new BMW that’s been languishing on the lot for a year, Century West BMW will throw in a lease on a BMW i3 on the house.
The Los Angeles Police Department just inked a deal that will see 100 BMW i3 electric vehicles wear the iconic black-and-white paint job of their vehicle fleet.
BMW emerged the winner in a supply bid that saw the i3 and rival EVs vie for the LAPD contract. The force chose the slab-sided Bimmer for its reliability and connectivity, and for the company’s charging infrastructure and service network. (Read More…)
Owners of BMW i3s equipped with optional range extenders — read: two-cylinder engine that generates electricity — are suing the automaker for an issue that could leave those drivers going slow in the fast lane.
According to Green Car Reports, the BMW i3 REx will drop down to 45 miles per hour under certain conditions, which some owners believe is a safety issue.
BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.
Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.
Call it a case of “i” gotta go. (Read More…)
BMW Group is laying out its game plan for the future, and it includes a lot of new electric vehicles.
Beyond the marketing buzzwords, there’s much similarity between BMW’s plan, released yesterday, and those of so many other automakers: building high-tech convenience and connectivity into their vehicles, diversifying their electric offerings, developing autonomous driving technology, and making the customer feel extra special.
The immediate effect on BMW’s rolling stock will be an expanded “i” range of all-electric or plug-in hybrid models, starting with a convertible version of the i8 and a longer-ranged version of the i3 by the end of this year.
Some call it a hybrid, some call it an EV. Some have called it a REx, a BEVx, a landmark vehicle in EV production, and others simply call it ugly. One things is for sure however, the 2015 BMW i3 turns more heads in Northern California than a Tesla Model S. Not since I last drove the Jaguar XKR-S have I received as many questions while parked at the gas pump, or visited a gas pump so frequently, but I digress. In a nutshell, the i3 is technically a hybrid or an EV depending on the version you get.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a review of the BMW i3, BMW’s first mass market electric car.
Today’s QOTD comes from Grandma, who is on vacation in Florida. Grandma writes:
i have a a chevy sonic rental. i parked it, it is so small it was a breeze lots of 2014 mercedes sitting in dealer lots here. saw 2 bmw electric cars. the back lights look like the kia soul. it looks cute, but none of the beemer [sic] sophistication. don’t know why they have to make electric cars look so quirky.
Upon further questioning, it appears Grandma was asking about the BMW i3. Sixt is now renting out the i3 in the South Florida area, complete with burnt orange paint and giant Sixt logos. I didn’t really have a good answer for her, other than “people want to be seen driving an electric car”. In her mind, a Bimmer is still something you buy to show that you’ve “arrived” – but it’s not as good as a “Jag-you-are”.
A heretofore unknown publication dubbed Gadget Review published a video outlining “How to Charge BMW’s i3 Electric Car in a Desert (or Any Where)” using a Honda generator. I’m sure that somebody somewhere thought that this would be a great concept for “shareable” content (including the part where the host attempts to run the generator inside the vehicle). The actual idea didn’t yield a ton of juice for the i3’s battery, but the idea of using generators to assist EV charging isn’t entirely unknown.
BMW has reportedly spent billions of dollars so far on developing various aspects of its carbon fiber intensive and electric powered i series of cars. The Bavarian automaker obviously wants to get that money back and more so it is now using high profile events to launch the i subbrand in North America, including buying ads during the opening ceremony and other broadcasts from the Winter Olympics currently being held in Sochi, Russia. The first of three ads that BMW will be running during the NBC network’s coverage of the Olympic games is called “Hello Future” and uses a 1964 recording of futurist Arthur C. Clarke to promote the $136,000 i8 hybrid super car. A second ad for the i8 is called “Sighting“, showing people’s reaction to first seeing the car. The more mass market $41,300 i3 is being sold with “SHHH“, depicting a teenager using his father’s silent i3 to sneak a nighttime joyride with a girl he’s trying to impress. He gets the girl but dad has been tracking the car with BMW’s i remote app. (Read More…)
One of our readers, Noble713, commenting on a news items about the BMW i3, asked if TTAC could provide more coverage on BMW’s carbon fiber productions methods. The i3 EV, and upcoming i8, are built upon CFRP structures. Weight is the enemy of electric vehicles. The more weight you can take out of the actual structure of the car, the more battery cells you can carry for more power and better range, hence BMW turning to carbon fiber. It turns out that BMW has released a series of videos (bilingual, wait for the English) on that very topic. Their CFRP production uses materials made by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture between the BMW and SGL groups and the effort spans the globe. SGL has expertise in carbon fiber and in 2011 BMW took a 15% stake in the company. (Read More…)
With demand for its i3 EV surpassing BMW’s expectations, the company’s chief financial officer, Friedrich Eichiner, told Bloomberg that the company is considering increasing production of the electric car. Though retail deliveries will not start until next month, over 8,000 orders have been booked so far. Originally, BMW hoped to sell about 10,000 i3s in 2014, but if demand stays high, the company “will adjust capacity according to demand,” Eichiner said at an Amsterdam press conference yesterday. “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.” (Read More…)