Only the BMW i8, which is yet to launch on public roadways, is more complex a machine than BMW’s i3. The all-electric i3 (available with a gasoline range-extender) constitutes a true renaissance of the automobile. From its chassis to its interior, it alters what we can expect from a mass production car – and in a cation kind of way (yes, that was a feeble attempt at a positive pun).

Thing is, unless you’ve got an electrical engineering degree tucked under your arm (which we don’t), you’ll likely find the technology in the i3 a touch complex, or at least, unfamiliar (which we do). To dig a bit deeper into the engineering that makes the i3’s performance possible, we spoke with Fathi El-Dwaik, BMW i Head of Electrics, at the global launch of the BMW i3, held in Amsterdam.

Without further ado, here’s what we learned about the i3’s electric guts.