The BMW i8 represents BMW’s concept of sustainable cars. It looks like a high-tech artifact straight out of a sci-fi movie. The aerodynamic properties, balanced low stance, sharp race-inspired contour and superior technologies make this sustainable super coupe even more desirable. So, how does this car drive and exactly how energy efficient is the BMW i8? Let’s find out.
BMW i8 runs at a remarkable EPA estimated 76 MPG in hybrid mode with electric and gasoline engines combined.
Under a casual driving condition, the BMW i8’s maximum combined driving range is up to an EPA estimated 330 miles with a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery.
|BMW i8 MPG and Range||Measurements||Data|
|Fuel tank capacity||liter / gal||42 / 11.1|
|Fuel econ. combined Electricity + Gasoline (official EPA)||mpge||76|
|Fuel econ. combined Gasoline only (official EPA)||mpg||28|
|US total range (official EPA)||miles||330|
|Energy cons. combined (official EPA)||kWh/100miles||43|
|High voltage battery type||Lithium-Ion|
|Battery location||Central tunnel, underbody|
|Charging time (220V Level 2, 32 A SAE J1722 Charger)||Hours||1.5 hrs @ 16 A|
The energy management system is part of the BMW eDrive that manages the Drivetrain. It is developed exclusively for the BMW i8 to deliver energy efficiency. Simply put, it is the operating system that optimizes the interaction between the electric motor and the battery to maximize performance and minimize fuel consumption.
The eDrive is the Drivetrain concept for the BMW i class, and it consists of three major parts:
The Electronic Drive (eDrive) is the core technology behind the BMW i8. The specially engineered, a high-power lithium battery is equipped with a cooling system that prolongs the battery life expectancy and assists in fuel conservation.
During the electric mode, the car is managed by the Intelligent Energy Management System exclusively developed by the BMW Group. It is an arrangement that controls the drivetrain system with enhanced, permanently-excited synchronous electric motor. It also allows the vehicle to operate at zero emission, which is virtually soundless and still can deliver a power boost for acceleration when needed.
The BMW i8 creates the ideal balance in the interactions between the electric and combustion motor. It possesses the agility of a Sports Coupe and the energy efficiency of a hybrid.
When “Route Guidance” is activated, the energy management system integrates with the navigation to analyze the trip which controls and fine-tunes the vehicle operation. This process can ensure the system outputs the best possible energy conversion, fuel consumption, and driving comfort.
In the latest BMW models, the Driving Experience Control switch is where drivers select the appropriate driving mode suitable for different driving styles. Along with the eDrive, the BMW i8 allows five individual driving modes to achieve fuel saving or driving performance. Contingent on the driving mode, the car can be a rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive.
The ECO PRO in eDrive Mode enables the most energy saving with the most range output supplied by electric power alone. The Combustion engine will only assist during the sudden intense throttle engagement or in an extremely low battery situation.
The Powertrain management ensures the least energy consumption on all levels during the i8’s operation. During overrun, the intelligent energy management system can dictate the most appropriate driving status with the current driving situation.
display. This hybrid mode efficiently adjusts the consumption of electronics equipment in the i8 such as the heating, cooling, and fuel expenditure. This mode maximizes the driving range and fuel saving.
The COMFORT mode is the default driving mode when you power up the i8. It is the most balanced mixture of energy output from both the combustion engine and the electric motor.
The current speed is displayed in the instrument panel instead of the rev counter. In this mode, the electric motor controls the overtake and the acceleration from idle, while the combustion engine automatically kicks in at higher speeds.
The seamless cooperation between the combustion and electric engines creates the perfect harmony between energy efficiency and driving luxury. So, if you are going for a long drive, COMFORT mode is a good choice.
The eDrive in COMFORT Mode is purely electric drive. Drivers can enjoy the perks of getting around in a soundless and pollution free hybrid without sacrificing the aesthetics and characters of a Sports Coupe. When eDrive is activated, the combustion engine does not automatically take over until electricity is nearly exhausted.
If you are driving long distance, however, the Comfort Mode in eDrive is not the best driving mode since the BMW i8’s maximum driving range in the all-electric mode is up to an approximated 22 miles.
The BMW i8 SPORT Mode is where the aptitude of the BMW i8 unleashes. It is when the unprecedented driving pleasure of a sports coupe unveils. Combustion and electric engines are synchronized to their full potentials to ensure maximum torque, speed, and stability.
In BMW i8 SPORT mode, extra power boosts can be supplied by the electric engine to assist the combustion engine. It maximizes acceleration and power performance while the battery recharges during deceleration and braking.
The BMW i8 SPORT mode can be initiated in Automatic Drive “D” or Sequential Manual gear. In manual shift, the gearshift can be executed with the paddle shifter on the steering wheel or with the gearshift stick.
The BMW 360° ELECTRIC is a solution package offered to the i Series owners. It allows the battery pack to be charged at home or any charging station quickly and conveniently. The ChargeNow Card is a cashless charging and payment card offered by BMW to charge i Series at public charging stations and mobility services such as MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse.
To recharge the BMW i8, owners can utilize the charging cable provided by BMW to plug into a standard household 110-volt power outlet. Charging can also be done at the BMW i Charging Stations or at any public charging station.
A standard 110-volt power outlet will charge the battery of the i8 from empty to full in around 3.5 hours. The 220-volt power from electric charging station shortens the charge time to about 1.5 hours.
The 11.1-gallon capacity gasoline tank of the BMW i8 requires premium unleaded gasoline.