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BMW i8 customer demand exceeding planned production; improved fuel consumption

Series production of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid (earlier post) begins in April, with delivery of the first customer cars to start in June 2014, beginning with the main European markets. Customers have already been able to place pre-orders for the BMW i8 in all major markets since autumn 2013; BMW says that demand for the BMW i8 is already exceeding the planned production volume during ramp-up.

In the run-up to production and delivery, in parallel to the completion of the statutory type approval, BMW engineers were able further to improve key driving performance and fuel consumption data. With the BMW eDrive in plug-in hybrid configuration, the i8 combines a 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 4.4 seconds with an EU test cycle average fuel consumption of 2.1 liter/100 km (112 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 49 g/km. The related electricity consumption was measured at 11.9 kWh per 100 km. BMW had originally anticipated combined test-cycle fuel consumption of 2.5 l/100km (94 mpg US).

BMW i8. Click to enlarge.

The results achieved in the EU test cycle allow for quick comparisons with other vehicles and also for favorable taxation in many countries; however, BMW is also providing some real world fuel consumption estimates based on driving in everyday traffic.

  • In typical everyday commuting with the battery fully charged at the beginning, BMW says its i8 can return a fuel consumption below 5 liters/100 km (47 mpg US) around town.

  • If the commute includes extra-urban or highway driving, fuel consumption of less than 7 liters/100 km (33.6 mpg US) is achievable.

  • In longer-distance operation at higher speeds, drivers can keep their average fuel consumption below 8 liters/100 km 29.4 mpg US). Overall, the fuel consumption of the plug-in hybrid model therefore works out around 50%better than that of conventionally powered sports car models.

The introduction of the optional BMW laser headlights is scheduled for autumn 2014, when the BMW i8 will become the world’s first production car to offer this innovative lighting technology. BMW laser headlights are around 30% more energy-efficient than the BMW i8’s standard LED headlights and provide considerably more powerful road illumination, with a range of up to 600 meters.

Highly concentrated beams of light from high-performance laser diodes act on a fluorescent phosphor material inside the headlight, which projects a sharply focused beam of light onto the road. The laser headlights produce a light similar to natural daylight and are therefore always easy on the eye.

BMW eDrive. The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system comprises a 170 kW/231 hp, 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a 96 kW/131 hp, 250 nm (184 lb-ft) hybrid synchronous electric motor.

The BMW eDrive system also includes a lithium-ion high-voltage battery (with a usable capacity of 5.2 kWh) and intelligent energy management that uses the combined output of 266 kW/362 hp to provide performance and maximum efficiency, while always taking into account the driving situation and driver requirements. The balance between driving pleasure and fuel economy is aided by a low vehicle weight of 1,485 kg (3,274 lbs) (DIN curb weight) and a good drag coefficient (Cd) for a sports car of 0.26.

In zero-emission all-electric mode, the BMW i8 has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a range of 37 kilometers (23 miles) within the EU test cycle. Depending on whether the plug-in hybrid sports car’s lithium-ion battery is recharged at a household power socket or BMW i Wallbox, or at a public charging station, charging times range from less than two up to three hours. In Sport mode the BMW i8 offers mid-range acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph) in 2.6 seconds. The electronically governed top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph).



In electric only mode 75mph is max speed. Makes sense because aero losses start to get huge at that speed and a 5.2Kwhr pack won't last beyond 20 minutes putting out 12Kw.

Stretching any electric motor out to 255km/hr demands a twin ratio gearbox I would think but there is no mention of one.

Unfortunately the i8 will not be allowed in the Californian HOV lanes with a single driver since the white stickers have now whittled down to 40,000 presently. I would think that by the time the i8 reaches the North American market sales of existing hybrids will have used them all up.

BMW is now behind the curve. If they had pretensions of bringing a sports car to these shores they should have got focussed on the e8 that was racing around the Nurburgring last year.

I have found that most people are still not aware of the Tesla Model S and that's probably the case in Germany also. That said, with superchargers strung across Germany the expected sales of the i8 are likely to be shortlived when that realization hits home.


What a joke. If you factor in the CO2 inherent in the electricity production, this car is worse than a Prius.

11.9 kWh /100 km * 633 g/KWh = 75.3 g km IN ADDITION TO THE 49 g/km from the gasoline, for a total of 124.3 g/km.

Prius at 50 mpg is 19.74 lbsCO2/gal / 50mpg is 0.3884 lbs/mile
or 0.3888*457 /1.609 is 111 g/km.


I was a bit - a lot really - happy at the headline 2.2 / 2.5 l /100klm but plainly the reality is the rather dissapointing 5/7/100klm liter.

I suppose that would be a good result for a downsized 3 cylinder offering but the reality is most of these heavy, highly optioned overpowered, 'luxury vehicles are more focused on looking good and a 'works with everything experience because the buyers demand and can afford it and really would be just as happy if it had a 'Big Green' badge.

Although with stop start and small battery will be a definite improvement in congested city traffic.

Why wouldn't they buy the Tesla at a comparable price?


You can not make any conclusion based on a NEDC number. The fact is that for every day driving (under 92 kW power) you will have 5.2 kWh EV capacity, from this point on you have 1.5 turbo engine, that BMW says will deliver around 7-8 l/100 km in real world driving.

So again your consumption (and CO2) will be highly dependant on the length of your daily commute. But if you make 30 km in EV and 20 km with 7.5 l/100 km then you have consumed only 3 l/100 km or 1.5 l gasoline and 5.2 kWh + charging loss.



Aren't you double-counting? The electricity is either produced by the motor, or grid-supplied. Not both.

Your grid numbers seem a bit high, but I guess that they are correct somewhere.



BMW says "The related electricity consumption was measured at 11.9 kWh per 100 km". They do not specify the mix of gas and wallcharge in their driving cycle (NEDC).

However, BMW also provded "real world MPG numbers" based on starting with a full charge

47.0 mpg city , (8975g/gal)/(47.0mpg)=191.0g/mile=118.7g/km
33.6 mpg mixed , (8975g/gal)/(33.6mpg)=267.1g/mile=166.0g/km
29.4 mpg highway, (8975g/gal)/(29.4mpg)=305.3g/mile=189.7g/km

All worse than a plain Prius that gets 50 mpg (110g/km overall) in real life.


By the way, Tesla Model S is also worse than a Prius. According to the data from this link,

Tesla Model S uses on the average 341.7 WH/mile over the 41 cars surveyed. This means

0.3417 kWh/mile * 633 g/KWh = 216.29 g/mile which is
216.29/1.609 g/km = 134.43 g/km.


So you have a car that's bigger, faster, safer, better handling, more stylish than a Prius, with a slight fuel economy penalty (but only after the first 20 miles).

Seems fair. People also pay extra to go to a nice restaurant or to wear nice clothes.

Seriously, I doubt that the Prius is this car's main competition.


Is there an internet sweepstake where we can win this i8 ? In January I participated in a sweepstake for a Chevrolet volt but didn't win. In 1995 I won a sweepstake, it was a jeep wrangler 4 cylinders that I sold 11 500$.

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