you look at the dismal sales record of electric cars in India, you will realise
that India has a long way to go on the emobility front, especially electric
cars. Apart from the handful of Mahindra e2o and Mahindra eVerito electric cars
that are sold in the country every year, there is really no other serious
player in the emobility space. With
barely any infrastructure for charging of electric vehicles and no major takers
for such vehicles in the country, one really does not understand why BMW is
showcasing its futuristic (at least for India) electric car BMW i3s in India?
snazzy looking BMW i3S has been around for a year in India. It’s not for sale
here in this country rather the company is showcasing its superiority in
electric vehicles. We have evaluated it for its practically in an electricity starved
country like ours.
the US, an all-electric BMW i3s price starts at around $47650 which translates
to approximately Rs 33 lakh. If such a car is imported for sale in India as a
CBU, it would cost Rs 50 lakh plus. Does it make sense in India, well only time
to the exteriors, the new BMW i3s is a good looker. Everything about the cars
is black and white. You have this high gloss black finish belt running from the
bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear with the A-pillars and roof lines too in
black finish. A dash of blue on the side sills and at the front apron’s side
sections, adds to the visual appeal of the car.
new BMW i3s comes equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ
LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running
lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are
integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips.
car has very recognisable BMW kidney shaped grille but they are closed and come
without any slats. It is painted in high-gloss black to give the grille a
larger and more prominent appearance. At the rear you get to see a
chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the
positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the boot lid.
new BMW i3s sits on 175/55 R20 tyres and are shrouded around 20-inch
light-alloy wheels that have a five twin-spoke design.
for some dislikes. I found the door designs absolutely impractical, especially
for a country like India. The doors open in opposite directions and since there
is no B pillar, the front and rear doors are dependent on each other. Unless
the front is open, the rear cannot open and unless the rear is closed, the
front cannot close. In short, for anyone sitting at the back, I assume it would
be kids they cannot step outside the car, unless someone opens the front door
first. Moreover, the rear window pane cannot be rolled down. That’s a lot disappointing.
to the interiors, first and foremost, it’s important to note that over 80 per
cent of the surfaces visible to the passengers inside are made from recycled
materials or renewable resources. That means this car is more eco friendly than
an average electric car running around the globe anywhere. The carbon
fibre-reinforced plastic is spacious and bright. It’s designed to accommodate
two people in front and two at the rear.
The blue seat belts give an electric feel to your moods. The seating space is quite decent, if not very
spacious. The two rear seats can be pulled down to create more space in the
mentioned earlier, the rear window cannot be opened and to make matters worse,
there are no ac vents for those at the back.
BMW i3s comes with an updated version of the iDrive operating system, which
provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment,
communications and navigation functions. The main screen on the dashboard has a
display of 10.25 inches. A rotary knob on the floor console is used for the
differentiates the i3 and the i3s is the sporty character of the latter. There
are four drive modes to choose from: Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro and Eco Pro+. It’s
in the Eco Pro + that you get the maximum battery range and subdued speed and
air conditioner output, while it rises to reach to reduced battery range and
splendid speed and air conditioner output as you move to the Sport mode.
absolute silence and zero emissions, you get a 135 kW/184 hp electric motor
that generates peak torque of 270 Nm. Since this torque is available on the
word “go”, speed is instantaneous in this car.
The car also has a sports suspension with specially developed springs,
dampers and anti-roll bars.
6.9 seconds is what is required to see the new BMW i3s burst past 100 km/h on
its way to a top speed of 160 km/h.
electric range runs to 280 kilometres based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 245
kilometres as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres in everyday use. For record’s
sake, a 38 hp two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an
option for the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power
as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the
high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by
150 kilometres, increasing it from around 180 kilometres to a maximum of 330
BMW i3S electric car is definitely a lot sophisticated than any electric car
available in India today, it’s very unlikely that it will be accepted anytime
soon in India. And with its doors opening in opposite directions, it could even
be more unacceptable for many in India. But having said that, the new BMW i3S
does prove a point for BMW, that when it comes to sophisticated and technology
advanced vehicles, it’s ready for the future. But the question we need to ask
is: Is India ready?
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