BMW i3 Lends Its Batteries To Torqeedo Electric Boats
7 July 2017 - motor1
Be green when you're motoring in the deep blue sea.
The BMW i3's lithium-ion battery system will soon hit the waves as the energy storage solution for electric boats from German company Torqeedo.
The i3's battery pack will be part of Torqeedo's Deep Blue line of inboard and outboard motors. According to the company, the existing models offer a minimum of around five hours of boating when traveling at 4 knots (5 miles per hour). The time drops to 30 minutes of use at full throttle. The Deep Blue powerplants are available in 44 horsepower (33 kilowatts) and 89 hp (66 kW) variants, and Torqeedo reports they have comparable shaft power as a 40 hp (30 kW) and 80 hp (60 kW) traditional, gasoline-fueled marine engine.
Torqeedo sells the 30.5-kilowatt-hour i3-sourced battery for $31,999. The Deep Blue motors go for $23,999.
Torqeedo also offers the Deep Blue Hybrid with up to 160 hp (119 kW) for sailboats that's a complete powertrain unit, including on-board solar cells.
In 2016, BMW further leveraged the i3's battery by partnering with Beck Automation for a stationary energy storage solution. Customers could choose between new batteries or repurposed packs from the electric hatchback.
BMW upgraded the i3's powertrain in 2016 by increasing the battery pack's capacity to 33 kilowatt hours. It can carry the electric hatchback for 114 miles (184 kilometers). Spy photos show that a refreshed i3 is currently under development, and part of the upgrades reportedly includes the addition of a sport model. It could make 200 hp (149 kW) and 184 pound-feet (249 Newton-meters) of torque, versus 168 hp (125 kW) and 184 pound-feet (249 Newton-meters) of torque from the existing vehicle. Battery upgrades for this variant might further increase range, too.
BMW's current EV strategy focuses on electrifying its existing range rather than creating unique electric products like the i3. The next i-sub-brand model reportedly doesn't arrive until 2021 at the earliest.