The New BMW i4 Electric Sedan Has Officially Entered Production at the Automaker's Munich Plant
【Summary】Automaker BMW recently announced that the new, all-electric i4 sedan has officially entered production. The first series model of the battery-powered i4 sedan rolled off the production line last month at the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Munich. With the launch of the i4, BMW will compete more closely with Tesla's Model S.
Automaker BMW recently announced that its all-electric i4 sedan has officially entered production. The first series model of the battery-powered i4 sedan rolled off the production line last month at the automaker's manufacturing facility in Munich.
The first deliveries are expected to begin soon. With the launch of the i4 electric sedan, BMW will compete more closely with Tesla's Model S and Model 3.
"For the plant and team, the launch of the BMW i4 is a milestone on the road to electric mobility," said BMW AG Board Member for Production Milan Nedeljković. "By 2023 more than half of all vehicles from our Munich facility will have an electrified drive. The majority will be fully electric. So Munich goes fully electric."
BMW aims for its electric vehicle sales to account for 50% of BMW Group's global sales by the end of the decade. The German car brand invested around $230 million to upgrade its production plant in Munich to produce EVs. BMW upgraded the Munich plant in less than one year.
The electric i4 is being built alongside gas-powered and hybrid 4-Series models at BMW's factory in Munich.
The battery-powered BMW i4 variants are built alongside other hybrid and combustion-powered models, which include the new M3, 4 Series Gran Coupe and 3 Series sedan.
BMW said its can use 90% of its existing body shop machinery to build the i4 electric sedan. The automaker enlisted the services of NVIDIA's Omniverse Nucleus platform, which is an open platform built for virtual collaboration and real-time physically accurate simulation. The Omniverse platform was used to plan the BMW i4's axle pre-assembly process at the factory.
The BMW i4 is available in three model variants, the eDrive 40 Sport, eDrive 40 M Sport, and the top-of-the-line M50.
The entry level eDrive 40 Sport is powered by an 83.9 kWh battery pack and a rear axle electric motor. The overall power output of the eDrive 40 Sport is rated at 335 horsepower with 317 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 60mph takes 5.7 seconds. The BMW i4 eDrive 40 Sport has a driving range of 300 miles, with the more sportier versions rated at 245 miles.
The more capable BMW i4 M50 variant gets a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup. BMW's i4 M50 is the first all-electric performance offering from BMW's hallowed M division. The same battery pack produces 544 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of peak torque in the M50. The BMW i4 M50 can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds.
Thanks to its 200 kW fast charging capability, customers can recharge their BMW i4 from 10 to 80% capacity in 30 minutes.
BMW is also investing in battery technology to help make its future EV more affordable with a longer range.
Last month, BMW announced an investment in Lilac Solutions, which is a U.S. start-up that is developing a revolutionary lithium extraction process. Lilac Solutions developed and patented an ion exchange technology that it claims will significantly improve efficiency, costs and sustainability by extracting lithium from naturally occuring brine resources for electric vehicle batteries.
The electric BMW i4 will compete with Tesla Model S and Model 3, Lucid Air, Mercedes Benz EQS, and other electric four-door offerings in the growing EV segment.
Base prices including shipping start at $56,395 for the entry i4 eDrive40 and $66,895 for the i4 M50.
The BMW i4 will be available in the U.S. in early 2022.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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