BMW Shows Off a Vision of Future Mobility in Las Vegas
BMW i3 Urban Suite
Time Magazine says that the BMW i3 Urban Suite – a modified, super-luxe version of its iconic electric car – is one of “The 25 Best Products of CES 2020.”
Unfamiliar with the coolness that is CES? It is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where futuristic technology and consumer products are showcased. In the past several years CES has become the go-to place for the automotive industry to show off mobility concepts that may (or may not) ever be built.
The BMW i3 Urban Suite, according to Time, demonstrates how:
BMW’s trying to rethink the rideshare experience by adding a bit more class (and removing a few seats). The BMW i3 Urban Suite is a modified BMW i3 made for a more luxurious rideshare experience, one that includes perks like a hanger for coats, heated cupholders, and a literal desk lamp. There are also some pleasant privacy-centric features like simulated acoustic sealing and a display that supports smartphone mirroring when you need a second screen. Think of it as the next evolution of the limo, if a limo only fit one passenger.
MSN News says the BMW i3 Urban Suite is BMW’s “latest concept involves lazing around on plush loungers and barely lifting a finger” and “a lazy driver’s dream come true.”
BMW Electric Offerings
Clearly, BMW is already moving way beyond its first-ever all-electric offering. The BMW i3 is already a pretty cutting-edge ride, complete with carbon fiber exterior and interior clad with sustainable materials. Since introducing the i3 and i8 PHEV, BMW has sold at least a half-million electrified cars, and plans to double that number in just a couple of years, But electrified vehicles – PHEVs and EVs – have not reached critical mass yet.
Almost all manufacturers say that electrics are the immediate future of automotive. MSN News says “The best assumption is that electrified vehicles will account for 20 to 30 percent of worldwide sales by 2030.” Much of the growth has been in China; in Europe and the U.S. BEVs, or Battery Electric Vehicles have gotten off to a slow start with consumers.
That said, BMW is committed to EVs but is being realistic. Beginning next year all BMW platforms will allow for internal combustion engines (ICEs), plug-in hybrid and EV powertrains. BMW has promised it will produce at least 24 electrified BMWs by 2025 but according to a recent Jalopnik story, BMW’s R&D chief estimates that BMW’s ICEs will be built for another 30 years.
The main concerns for consumers have been the range for electrified cars, which is growing exponentially – the BMW all-electric iX3, coming next year, will have a 273-mile range – and the ability to charge them. The New York Times reports that there are more than 21,000 charging locations with more than 57,000 hookups in the U.S. Charging can take several hours but some quick chargers can add up to 90 miles of juice in just about 20 minutes, according to plugincars.com.
Most importantly, drivers have…and will continue to have… lots of options that include fuel-efficient ICEs, PHEVs, and EVs.