The BMW i4 Electric Gran Coupe: The Complete Guide For India

BMW electric car India
Price: Rs 69.90 Lakhs
Type of electric vehicle: Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Body type: Saloon
Battery size: 80.7 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 258 - 365 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 0g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the Indian and global electric vehicle (EV) market, simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The All-Electric BMW i4 Gran Coupe


BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), is a leading global automotive manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. BMW is well known for its portfolio of luxury vehicles, to include the famed Rolls-Royce luxury cars. The group manufacturers a number of cars under its BMW brand, to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The BMW i3 EV is an excellent example of a successful pure electric car. The company currently has the following portfolio of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs):

The BMW i4, is the first all-electric Gran Coupe. The electric vehicle (EV) is based on the iVision Dynamics concept that made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i4 is an electrified powertrain of the 4-series and looks similar to the 4-series Gran Coupe. It is slotted between the BMW i3 hatchback and the BMW i8 sports. The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is assembled in Munich (Germany) and is the first all-electric saloon for BMW. The i4 includes the fifth generation BMW eDrive Technology.

The pure electric BMW i4 also includes lightweight carbon-fibre construction, which is currently featured in the all-electric BMW i3 and the BMW i8 EV. BMW is deploying a ‘flexible vehicle architecture’ that will be used by both internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). The design has also been inspired by the BMW iNext SUV concept unveiled at the 2018 Frankfurt Motor Show. The BMW i4 is also the first fully-electric Gran Coupé.

The BMW i4 EV is available in one EV battery size: 80.7 kWh, and has a claimed pure electric range up to 365 miles for the entry-level eDrive40 Sport variant. For the higher performance i4 M50 variant, the claimed range is up to 318 miles. The EV battery size and zero-emission electric range is similar to many of the more recent introductions of pure electric cars i.e. there is a trend of increasing EV battery size and longer electric range.

Of course, the real-world EV range will be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: speed, driving profile, regen braking profile, weather conditions, road conditions, tyre size, onboard services used, payload and more. For the entry-level BMW i4 eDrive40 expect a real-world electric range closer to 315 miles and for the top of the range BMW i4 M50, expect an e-range closer to 240 miles.

We at e-zoomed recommend a ‘topping up’ approach to charging an electric car. This way, there is always range readily available and moreover, a topping up approach reduces the amount of time required to charge. The electric vehicle (EV) can be DC charged up to 205 kW and can achieve a 10%-80% in 31 minutes. All variants incorporate a 11 kW (3-phase) onboard charger, which can fully charge the EV in 8 hours and 25 minutes. However, given that most homes in India are restricted to single-phase power supply, expect the EV to take up to 13 hours for a full charge.

The BMW i4 electric car does not disappoint on performance. The range topping all-wheel drive BMW i4 M50 achieves 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds. Impressive, given the additional weight of the onboard EV battery. The total unladen weight of the electric car is 2,290 kg. The M50 delivers a maximum power up to 544 hp (max torque: 795 Nm) and has a 139 mph top speed. The other two variants (eDrive40 Sport and eDrive40 M Sport) are available as real-wheel drive and can achieve 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds (top speed: 118 mph).

Though the electric car has much to offer in terms of exterior styling and interior quality, do not expect much in terms of practicality. The sloping roofline does impact the headroom for rear seat passengers, in particular, for taller adults. Legroom can also be a little tight. But again, one is not really buying this car for practicality. It is the performance that matters, and the EV delivers. Having said that, the boot space on offer is still respectable (470 L).

The i4 is certainly a good looking car, further enhanced by the coupé styling. The vertically aligned front kidney supplies the EV with real-time data via sensors and camera, to enhance the driver assistance onboard technology. The BMW i4 has a driver-oriented cockpit and offers the BMW curved display (12.3″ instrument cluster and 14.9″ control display. The BMW i4 electric car is manufactured using ‘sustainable and green energy’.

The BMW electric car is available in India.


PROS CONS
An attractive exterior coupéstylingCheaper alternatives available
Decent EV battery size and emission-free e-rangeRear-headroom impacted by roofline. Rear visibility: blind spots
DC charging up to 205 kW. Three-phase (11 kW) onboard charger as standardAll-wheel drive only available on the top trim

Gallery


The All-Electric BMW i4 (credit: BMW)

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Gran Coupe
Engine:Electric
Available In India:Yes

Variants (1 Option)
BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport (from Rs 69.90 Lakhs)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 80.7 kWh
Charging:205 kW DC charging (10%-80%: 31 minutes). Onboard charger: 11 kW (0%-100%: 8 hrs and 25 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1,448
Width (mm):1,852
Length (mm):4,783
Wheelbase (mm):2,856
Turning Circle (m):N/A
Boot Capacity (L):470

BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):347 – 365 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.9 – 3.6
Charging:205 kW DC charging (10%-80%: 31 minutes). Onboard charger: 11 kW (0%-100%: 8 hrs and 25 mins)
Top Speed:118 mph
0-62 mph:5.7 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):250
Max Power (hp):340
Torque (Nm):430
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,125
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):337 – 352 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.7 – 3.6
Charging:205 kW DC charging (10-80%: 31 minutes). Onboard charger: 11 kW (0%-100%: 8 hrs and 25 mins)
Top Speed:118 mph
0-62 mph:5.7 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):250
Max Power (hp):340
Torque (Nm):430
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,125
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

BMW i4 M50
EV Battery Capacity:80.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):258 – 318 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.4 – 2.8
Charging:205 kW DC charging (10%-80%: 31 minutes). Onboard charger: 11 kW (0%-100%: 8 hrs and 25 mins)
Top Speed:139 mph
0-62 mph:3.9 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):400
Max Power (hp):544
Torque (Nm):795
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,290
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.


Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), more commonly referred to simply as, electric vehicles (EVs) or as plug-in electric cars, have come a long way over the past decade and certainly a long way over the past 100 years.

Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation.  Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages.  In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage.  Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention at that time. 

We are now witnessing a similar fundamental shift in road transportation, as polluting internal combustion engines (ICE) petrol and diesel vehicles are being replaced by low-emission and zero-emission electric vehicles. In countries like the United Kingdom, a leader in e-mobility, we can expect a comprehensive replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (UK will ban the sale of new ICE cars in 2030). The UK is not the only country that has a vision of a mass transition to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars.

Since 2011, the global electric vehicle (EV) market has increased at a year-over-year growth rate of over 50%. In 2020, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, the global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) had surpassed 10 million units . In 2015, the Global stock was just over 1 million units. In 2020, Europe accounted for the largest share of new car registrations of EVs (1.4 million registered electric vehicles), followed by China (1.2 million electric vehicles). In Europe, countries like Norway, Iceland and Sweden continue to show strong leadership in the transition to electric driving. In Norway more than 75% of new cars are electric, followed by 50% in Iceland and 30% in Sweden.

However, this is not just a western phenomenon. A number of countries across the world have announced their support for electric cars, to include India. Pure electric cars are now common sightings in a number of global markets, and EV automotive manufacturers, like California based Tesla Motors are now household brands.

Traditional automotive manufactures have also shown significant commitment to the migration to electric engines, to include Volvo Cars, the Volkswagen Group, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Mercedes, Land Rover and many more. Forecast for the sale of EVs suggest up to 30 million electric vehicles to be sold before the end of the current decade.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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