Published June 23, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Yesterday the BMW Group announced it had inaugurated its international BMW i Born Electric Tour to promote its pending electric vehicles, with the first stop being at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni located at Via Nazionale 194 in Rome.
The event in Rome is scheduled to cover four days from June 20 to 24, then the tour will visit six other cities over the next 12 months: Dusseldorf, Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, and Shanghai.
The BMW i brand was introduced last year and is now in the process of preparing for the launch of vehicles characterized by very low environmental impact and designed for sustainable individual mobility.
Two prototypes to be showcased that you are likely already aware of are the BMW i3 Concept and the BMW i8 Concept.
With its zero-emissions all-electric powertrain and a range of about 93 miles, the BMW i3 Concept was designed expressly for city use, although BMW says it does stay true to its heritage of a dynamic driving experience.
The extended-range i8 offers up to 22 miles electric-only driving, and utilizes a 215-horsepower, 1.5 liter gas engine plus 128-horsepower electric motor to speed to as high as 155 mph, and it sprints from 0-62 mph in around 4.8 seconds.
The BMW i Born Electric Tour is intended to demonstrate the BMW Group’s “holistic approach to future mobility, not only in terms of products displayed, but also in terms of networking information, technologies, and transportation systems.” BMW says. “The initiative also benefits from collaboration with the Italian architect and designer, Fabio Novembre. Through collaboration with the Officina Design and Driade, he will create his interpretation of the city and be the first of seven major world-class artists engaged to offer their visions of the urban context.”
BMW will also demonstrate its range of mobility services aimed at optimizing use of parking spaces and the utilization of navigation systems that can access local information, as well as intermodal road maps, and car-sharing schemes such as DriveNow.
BMW i recently acquired an interest in MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse Web portals. ParkatmyHouse makes it possible for private persons to rent their personal parking space when it is not in use, via the Internet or a specific smartphone application.