The 19th century Scottish inventor, Robert Anderson, is known as the inventor of the first rudimentary electric carriage around 1832 to 1839 using non-rechargeable batteries known as primary cells. Imagine if you gave him the keys to a 2024 BMW i7 M70 with an 8K 31” panoramic theater screen, massaging seats, and 650 horsepower? Needless to say, I’m sure he would be very proud of the Bavarians.
If you are in the market for a new electric vehicle, it can be quite overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Whether you’re shopping for an electric SUV or an electric sports car, they all offer zero-emissions, instant torque, and best of all – no more trips to the gas station. Cleaner cars equate to cleaner air and a healthier human population. Let’s discuss what BMW has to offer in the electric vehicle segment.
In the United States market, BMW currently offers 4 new electric vehicles – i4, iX, i7, and the new i5 coming in October. The iX3 and iX1 are available only in Europe and China. Starting MSRP’s range from $52,200-$69,700 for the i4, $66,800 for the i5, $87,100 for the iX, and from $124,000 to $200,000+ for the flagship i7 when fully equipped.
Regardless of which model you are interested in, they all proudly wear the BMW badge – so you can rest assured you are purchasing the highest quality electric vehicle available. The 2024 BMW i7 xDrive60 can travel up to 318 miles, has 536 horsepower, does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and offers the highest range of all their available models.
BMW has been in the electric vehicle game since the debut of the i3 in 2013 with a range of up to 190 miles, so they know a thing or two about electric cars. Interestingly enough, there is an i3 running around South Africa with over 180,000 miles. An important note about electric range that can be attained is that it is heavily dependent on driving style, route profile, as well as the activation of auxiliary electrical consumers.
eDrive vs xDrive
BMW’s various models of electric vehicles are distinguished by their model badge and the drive type badge on the rear of the vehicle. The i4 is a Premium Mid-Range Gran Coupe, the iX is an Upper Class Sports Activity Vehicle, the i5 is a Sporty Business Sedan, and the i7 is a Premium Luxury Sedan.
The eDrive badge indicates the vehicle is rear-wheel drive with a single 220LRTU electric drive unit on the rear axle. The xDrive badge indicates the vehicle is all-wheel drive with dual electric drive units – a 220LRTU electric drive unit on the rear axle and a 220MF electric drive unit on the front axle. These electric drive units utilize sophisticated 6-phase power to provide the requisite high torque and output.
The numerical digits after the eDrive or xDrive indicate the power output. The i4 eDrive35 has a 70.27 kWh battery while the i4 eDrive40 and i4 xDrive50 both have a 83.9 kWh battery. The iX xDrive40 has a 76.6 kWh battery while the iX xDrive50 and iX M60 have a staggering 111.5 kWh battery. The i7 eDrive50, xDrive60, and i7 M70 have a very potent 105.7 kWh battery. The i5 eDrive40 and i5 M60 will have similar power outputs of 335 horsepower for the eDrive40 and 590 horsepower for the M60.
BMW has developed multiple batteries for their new fleet of electric vehicles – ranging from 198.6Ah of battery capacity to a mind-boggling 285Ah. Depending on the model, BMW battery electric vehicles can travel anywhere from 250 to 300+ miles on a single charge. All BMW BEV’s come with an 8 year/100,000 mile battery warranty along with an extensive network of over 300 dealerships in the United States – Tesla only offers a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty.
BMW Electric Models By Range in the United States
- BMW i4 eDrive35 single-motor – 256 miles
- BMW i4 eDrive40 single-motor – 301 miles
- BMW i4 xDrive40 dual-motor – 307 miles
- BMW i4 M50 – 270 miles
- BMW i5 eDrive40 -295 miles
- BMW i5 M60 – 256 miles
- BMW i7 eDrive50 single-motor – 317
- BMW i7 xDrive60 – 318 miles
- BMW i7 M70 – 295 miles
- BMW iX xDrive50 -307 miles
- BMW iX M60 – 288 miles
Electrification of the automobile has come a long way from the NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery used in the first Toyota Prius – to the Li-ion (Lithium-Ion) battery BMW currently uses. The human body requires food for energy, an internal combustion engine requires fuel for energy, and an electric vehicle requires a battery for energy.
Electric vehicles are without a doubt the future of the automotive sector however, high voltage systems are extremely dangerous and should never be touched by anyone other than properly trained service personnel. The term “High Voltage” is used in the automotive industry for voltage values that are above 60V direct current voltage (DC) and 30V alternating current voltage (AC).
Current is extremely dangerous to humans – current greater than 500mA (0.5A) can cause life threatening burns, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest. The maximum AC current not detectable by the human body is 0.5mA – maximum DC current not detectable by the human body is 2mA. So please, do not ever attempt to service your electric vehicle.
The optimal state of charge for lithium-ion batteries is between 50-80%, due to the fact that higher cell voltages decrease the lifespan of the battery. Lithium-ion batteries must also be kept above 40% because capacity losses due to irreversible reactions in the electrodes can occur. Charge settings can be adjusted via the central information display.
All new BMW battery electric vehicles come equipped with a portable 120VAC Level 1 Flexible Fast Charger which allows for 4 miles of range per 1 hour of charging and plugs into any 120V/240V outlet you would find in your home. 240V AC Level 2 Fast Chargers are available for both public and residential settings, this option allows for up to 30 miles of range per 1 hour of charging. Qmerit is one of the nation’s largest providers of electrification solutions. They offer simplistic installation solutions for a Level 2 Wallbox charger in your home – more details about this service through this exceptional provider can be found at bmwusa.com/charging
Level 3 DC fast chargers are becoming increasingly more available in cities across the nation and are currently the quickest way to replenish your empty battery. They allow for up to 90 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging.
Download the MyBMW app for iOS & Android to utilize Electrify America’s 3,000+ Ultra-Fast DC charging stations which will allow you to travel up to 200 miles in just 30 minutes of charging.
Whether you’re transporting your kids to soccer practice, taking a trip to the grocery store, or headed to the racetrack for the weekend, BMW offers electric vehicles to fit any lifestyle. Of course, we’re still missing cars like the iX1 and iX3 which are proven to be quite popular in Europe.