Back in April, BMW Malaysia unveiled the BMW i3s, their first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) at the Malaysia Autoshow 2019. Today, you can finally head into a BMW dealership to order one of these electric, sustainable vehicle. Sustainability is beyond just ideas and goals at the BMW Group; it is made possible through realistic actions that drive tangible change the planet needs.
Motorists are increasingly adapting to sustainable living in the country, and BMW Malaysia is ensuring that mobility continues to be part of that equation through BMW i. No stranger to sustainability, the BMW i brand has set out to create sustainable luxury for the environmentally conscious. This has culminated in the First-Ever BMW i3s – a car designed from concept until production to incorporate natural, renewable resources and upcycled materials.
Driving the BMW i3s means driving with a clear conscience, and there is more beyond generating zero local emissions. Even before production begins, the BMW i3s was designed to ensure a consistent quota of 95% recyclability, especially for the non-renewable aluminium and copper used in their built.
Here is how the BMW i3s demonstrates the BMW Group’s holistic view of premium electro-mobility.
The interior surfaces are made of more than 80% renewable, natural and recycled materials. A glance from the front passengers’ view will show an impressive instrument panel made of beautiful open-pored eucalyptus wood that is grown and sourced responsibly. Its moisture-resistant surface means it requires 90% less surface processing than conventional wood. In 2013, the BMW Group became the first automotive manufacturer to use eucalyptus wood from 100% certified responsible forestry management.
The door lining and instrument panel cover of the vehicles, which are typically made from petroleum-based plastics are instead replaced with the strong fibres of the Kenaf plant, a plant belonging to the mallow family that transforms an exceptional amount of carbon dioxide into oxygen during its growing phase.
It not only significantly reduces the weight of the vehicle, but its attractive structure also removes the need for lamination, further contributing to the sustainability of the BMW i3s’ design. With the development agency – Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammernarbeit – the BMW Group has trained almost 1,000 local kenaf farmers to ensure sustainable cultivation of this natural material.
The BMW i3s’ car seats reveal a stunning use of naturally-tanned leather with olive leaf extract. The olive leaves are responsibly-sourced from the by-product of olive harvests in the south of Europe, thus preventing a large-scale waste of natural ingredients. The gently-tanned raw leather results in a supple finish that provides a fresh scent to the seats, regulating both moisture and temperature to enhance driving comfort.
100% recycled polyester is spun into fabric to exquisitely furnish the interior of the BMW i3s. The upcycled material, 34% of which is sourced from PET bottles, undergo an innovative process of melting down PET pellets to produce fabric that is not just pleasant to the touch and appealing to the eyes, but also highly durable. The material is then used to make the seat covers, floor linings, roof liners as well as foot mats, replacing up to 25% of the thermoplastic synthetic materials found in conventional vehicles. These underline BMW i’s claim to sustainability down to the last detail.
At the end of their lifespan, much of the BMW i3s is recycled to better regulate its use of natural resources, while ensuring less environmental and economic waste. The BMW Recycling and Dismantling Centre (RDC) in Munich recycles more than 7,500 vehicles a year, setting a clear example within the automotive industry. Apart from examining new recycling concepts, the RDC also works with research institutes to develop better recycling technologies.
With the future of mobility in mind, there is no deterring BMW i as it continues to pave the way forward for sustainability in electrified vehicles of the premium segment. From production to disassembly, the BMW i brand is driven by sustainability and the means to keep the industry thriving without contributing to the environmental damage caused by modernization.
BMW i3s — RM278,800
– Electric motor with 42.2 kWh (120 Ah) battery
– 135 kWh / 184 hp
– 270 Nm
– Range: 260 km
– Transmission: single speed fixed ratio
– 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds
– Vmax 160 km/h