BMW unveiled the BMW Concept i4 EV using a livestream instead of the planned Geneva venue. The BMW Concept i4 represents a look ahead to the BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021.
The electric four-door BMW Gran Coupé offers an electric range of up to 600 kilometers (373 miles), based on the new WLTP test cycle. Powered by fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, the i4 has a very slim battery with optimum energy density.
The development and production of the e-drive is done in-house, as well as the battery cell research. The e-drive offers a thrilling peak performance of up to 530 horsepower. And, we will not use any rare earths in the electric motor.
All of this shows that we are fully committed to climate protection. I can assure you and our customers: We will fulfill the tough European CO2 regulations for 2020 and 2021. This year alone, we will reduce our European fleet target by around 20 percent.—Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG
The electric motor developed for the BMW i4 generates maximum output of up to 390 kW/530 hp, which ranks it alongside a current BMW V8 combustion engine. Its instantaneous power delivery gives the BMW i4 standout performance attributes and exceptional efficiency.
The fifth generation of BMW eDrive also brings a newly designed high-voltage battery. The version of the battery developed for the BMW i4 features an extremely slim construction and optimized energy density. It weighs roughly 550 kilograms, and has an energy content of around 80 kWh.
Production. Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich. This means that, in the future, combustion-engined vehicles, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will be manufactured on the same assembly line in Munich.
The body concept of the BMW i4 differs from the architectures of the vehicle models produced at the plant to date due to the need to accommodate its high-voltage battery. Approximately 90% of the existing production equipment in the body shop can be incorporated into the process, i.e. adapted to manufacture of the i4. However, the remaining 10%—especially the machinery involved in building the rear structure—will need to be newly built.
A separate new piece of equipment will be fitted in the assembly halls for installation of the high-voltage battery, as the battery needs to be fitted in the car from below. A particular challenge in the conversion/installation process are the crowded structures of the assembly halls.
Working within these tight confines, old machinery will have to be removed and new equipment installed and brought on stream within a six-week period. The company is investing a total of around €200 million in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.