The specs of the Tesla killer BMW i4 electric car were revealed earlier along with a new teaser video showcasing the German automaker’s upcoming EV testing in the snow.
But if you’re an EV enthusiast, then just one look at the specs of the BMW i4 electric car will make you realize that its unofficial claim of being the Tesla killer is anything but.
BMW released all this new info before the LA Auto Show 2019 while the BMW i4 is slated for a 2021 launch date. The i4 is a direct successor to the BMW i3 electric hatchback. One of the reasons why the BMW i3 couldn’t smash any sales record was due to its small battery range, something which the company claims it will address in its upcoming i4 electric car and in the i3 hatchback as well.
BMW plans to launch around 25 ‘electrified’ vehicles by 2020 including, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric vehicles. The i4 electric is among them and will be accompanied by a slew of new launches.
Tesla Killer: BMW i4 Electric Car Specs, Battery Range, Launch Date
The supposed ‘Tesla killer’ from BMW will be powered by an 80 kWh battery which will produce around 390 kW or 530 HP with a range of 600 km or 373 miles. Now there’s no mention of the test cycle off of which these figures are based.
Since BMW released the information through its European website, it makes sense that the 600 km battery range mentioned is based either on WLTP or NEDC European cycle.
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In order to make its battery pack smaller and more efficient, the BMW i4 will make use of the Gen 5 electric platform. This new platform will also support 150 kW fast charging that’ll recharge the battery up to 80% in only 35 minutes.
Meaning, 62 miles of range will be added every 6 minutes while using the fast charging. The BMW i3 recharges up to the same amount in 17 minutes.
In terms of design, the BMW i4 looks quite similar to a 4-series Grand Coupe with the major difference being its massive new front faux grill. Since there is no engine, the grill will be used to house in necessary sensors like RADARS to be used in enabling driver-assist features.
Being an electric car, quick acceleration figures are expected from the BMW i4 and it will deliver a quite respectable 0-62 mph acceleration time of 4 seconds. The top speed of i4 will, however, be restricted to 120 mph or 193 km/h, preferable to increased battery efficiency.
So here only we can see that BMW is targetting a sensible buyer, someone who is looking for an everyday performance vehicle but not excited enough to take one to a drag strip.
The BMW i4 will launch in 2021 and before that, another electric vehicle from BMW in the form of a crossover SUV is set to debut. The BMW iX3 electric cross over will launch next year in 2020 and will be the first EV from the company to debut the Gen 5 battery technology I mentioned above.
The iX3 was spotted testing in March this year in the snowy region of Northern Switzerland.
Why BMW i4 Electric Car Is Not A Tesla Killer
As previously established, the performance of the BMW i4 is nowhere near its main rival, the Tesla Model 3. Not to mention that it will launch two years from now in 2021, a time interval that will see the rise of much more capable EVs. So penetrating the future market with specs that look almost mainstream by today’s standards will be an incredibly tough job for BMW.
According to BMW, putting a big battery in millions of vehicles has a sizeable impact on the environment, that’s why they are choosing to side with their Gen 5 battery technology, which for the record, is easily scalable as well.
As time passes, manufacturers like Rivian and Tesla are continuously pushing the boundaries of battery technology. Rivian is set to debut its pickup truck very soon with a 180 kWh lithium-ion battery which, according to recent testing, is easily capable of traveling more than 300 miles on a single charge.
Tesla currently uses a 100 kWh battery at the top of its Tesla Model S long-range, which delivers an astonishing 370 miles of range based on the EPA cycle and a range test that more or less resembles real-world conditions.
BMW says that 70% of its EV buyers are the first time BMW owners and the company will offer a range of 25 electrified models to choose from. So maybe they don’t have to focus on making just one really great electric vehicle.