BMW i stands for innovation - resulting in visionary vehicles and mobility services that carry with them an emphasis on futuristic and modern design. BMW i also equates to a new understanding of 'premium' that's strongly defined by sustainability. As such, BMW i is the holistic approach to the mobility of tomorrow, which makes it a truly unique force in the automotive industry.
BMW has over 40 years of extensive research which started in 1972 with two converted BMW 1602 models, followed by electric test vehicles in 1975 and 1980. Then came the first purpose-built solution - the BMW E1 - that was unveiled at the 1991 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Between 1992 and 1996, eight BMW 325 models were in service on the island of Rügen, off Germany's Baltic coast, to test various motors, transmissions and batteries under everyday conditions. The field trial produced extensive quantities of detailed data, which provided valuable insights for the further development of electric mobility. However, the project came to a conclusion with that era's final
BMW EV in 1997.
In 2008, a fleet of approximately 600 all-electric MINI E models, designed for private, everyday use, reenergized the initiative on-road. The findings gathered by the BMW Group from this pilot project were channeled straight into the development process for a production car. The potential of lithium-ion batteries, in particular, was taken to new heights with the MINI E, and just one year later, the world premiere of the BMW Concept ActiveE launched worldwide trials of over 1,000 units. By 2011 it was fully underway. Following the MINI E and BMW ActiveE Field Trials, BMW made its official shift into the realm of EVs with the release of the first-ever, all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid BMW i8.
Now, with sustainability at the very forefront, BMW i aims to take driving to an entirely new dimension, where tailpipe emission-free vehicles are a standard way of life. Welcome to a brand new world that's defined by the use of renewable resources and innovative means of production. Welcome to the
future of mobility.