Electric Vehicles and Bobsleds – BMW delivers the goods
German auto manufacturer BMW is having a good couple of weeks! First, they introduced BMW i3, one of two electric vehicles models making it into the final seven for Car of the Year honors at the Geneva Car Show 2014. Second, they’ve designed the USA Olympic teams’ bobsleds and helped USA Men and Women win the first bobsled medals since 1952, just .03 seconds ahead of the Russian pair that took fourth!
Bobsled is a technology-intensive sport where races are won by hundredths of a second. Good equipment is a huge part of success, ranking up there with precise driving and a strong start. BMW built six two-man sleds for both the men’s and women’s teams.
The Team USA bobsled is not it’s only “ultimate driving machine.” The i3 is BMW’s first fully electric car unlike any other BMW. The i3 is already seen as a hit amongst early electric vehicle adopters and ecology-minded drivers. The i3 is a new breed of plug-in electric cars offering low running costs AND more luxury than some of the other electric vehicles out there. The i3 sports a mix of aluminum, thermoplastic and carbon fiber body made at a fully sustainable plant in Washington. The concurrent AC electric motor and transmission are mounted at the rear, reducing the amount of cabling required. The i3 weighs just 1,195 kg! The passenger cell is made of carbon fiber – which is light, strong, and usually preserves low-volume and extremely costly high-performances cars. Its 22 kWh battery pack is under the floor with eight modules, each containing 12 individual cells producing the equivalent of 168 bhp and can go up to 80 miles on pure electric power.
BWM believes that luxury consumers who go for high style and performance will go for the i3 and judging by these numbers, they may be right. i3 drivers can increase convenience by adding a quick charging station to their EV purchase. BMW offers the Wall Box Pure EV quick charging station for home charging, but the car’s charging interface is agnostic. A consumer is not locked into that particular charging station, so they can evaluate other products and their features and price. This agnostic approach is unlike the other luxury EV, Tesla that only is compatible with a proprietary charging station. Besides the convenience of the universal charge adapter, drivers might also consider installing solar panels at their home to offset the additional electricity charges when adding an EV to the home electric load.
Companies like PetersenDean offer solar panel installation with EV charging upgrade options. This complimentary installation of a Siemens VersiCharge with the solar panels makes converting to the quick charging station simple. The solar power system is sized for optimal energy production for the home being sure to add in the new electricity required to charge the EV. Visit www.fuelforlife.org to learn more about home EV charging methods, annual charging estimates for several EV models and solar power. You can also choose convenient solar and EV charging packages to power your home and car with clean solar energy.