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 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.
BMW Torqeedo Boat Partnership
BMW i now also powers electric mobility on the water.
Torqeedo integrates BMW i3 high-capacity battery into electric propulsion system for boats – Integrated sustainability concept from BMW i finds new applications.
Munich. BMW i continues to drive sustainable innovation with its futureproof technology and integrated approach. And now the high-voltage battery developed for the i3 is not only powering emissions-free mobility on the road, but on the water too. The BMW Group is supplying lithium-ion batteries from its Dingolfing plant to German company Torqeedo. The marine drive system manufacturer is using them for energy storage in its high-performance Deep Blue electric drive systems. Torqeedo was founded in 2005 in Starnberg, Germany and is leading on a global basis as a provider of electric and hybrid propulsion systems for motorboats from 1 to 160 HP for sailing yachts and commercial marine applications, such as ferries and water taxis.
High-voltage batteries from BMW i will form an integral part of an environment- friendly, cost-effective, silent alternative to conventional boat propulsion systems. “We see the decision by Torqeedo to use BMW i high-voltage batteries for their Deep Blue propulsion system as further evidence that we can build the drive systems of the future without any need for compromise on performance, innovation and sustainability,” explains Dr Alexander Kotouc, Head of Product Management BMW i. “This successful transfer of the latest automotive technology to the water is testament to the value of the integrated approach that underpins BMW i.”
The BMW Group develops and assembles high-voltage batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in-house. The lithium-ion battery created for the BMW i3 comprises eight modules, each containing 12 cells. The connectors, cables, monitoring sensors and heating and cooling system have also been developed specifically for BMW i.
The BMW Group’s development and manufacturing expertise provides the basis for its continuous advancements in the field of battery technology. The latest example of this is the high-voltage battery in the current BMW i3. Although its size and weight remained unchanged from the earlier version, its capacity was increased by over 50% to 94 Ah/33 kWh.
Thanks to the plug-and-play capability that the designers have built into BMW i3 batteries from the outset, the technology offers broad scope for applications beyond the automotive sector. Marine propulsion system manufacturer Torqeedo combines lithium-ion batteries from BMW i with its most powerful range of motors for inboard and outboard units and hybrid systems with up to 160 hp. “The BMW i high-voltage batteries are a model of extraordinary reliability and performance for electric mobility,” explains Christoph Ballin, Co-founder and CEO of Torqeedo. “They allow us to deliver state-of-the-art electric propulsion technology and integrated energy management for leisure craft and commercial marine applications.”
This innovative use of BMW i high-voltage batteries to provide electric propulsion on the water is just one example of the wide variety of applications that can be served by this integrated sustainability concept. Another area is stationary energy storage, where the batteries are also used to increase the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings by providing intermediate storage for renewable energy generated by solar and wind installations.
What is more, the BMW i high-voltage batteries can also be reused for this purpose after they have completed their useful life in a vehicle. In terms of sustainability, reusing the batteries makes much more sense than recycling them prematurely. This led the BMW Group to develop scenarios envisaging a “second life” for the batteries after long service in a car, even before the BMW i3 was launched onto the market. This type of reuse has a key role to play in the transition to green energy – and the ever-increasing demand for intermediate storage of renewable power that comes as a result.
About BMW i
BMW i is a BMW Group brand focusing on visionary vehicle concepts, connected mobility services and a new understanding of premium strongly defined by sustainability.
BMW i is global market leader in alternative powertrains and represented in 54 countries with the BMW i3 electric car for urban areas, BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and plug-in hybrid BMW iPerformance Automobiles.
BMW i opens up new target groups for the company and serves as an incubator for innovations. Technologies which have debuted successfully in BMW i cars are carried over to parent brand BMW’s other models. BMW i is also associated with enterprises including DriveNow (car sharing), ReachNow (car sharing 2.0), ChargeNow (easy access to the world’s largest network of charging points), ParkNow (straightforward location, reservation and payment of parking spaces), venture capital company BMW i Ventures (investment in start-up companies with a focus on urban mobility), BMW Energy (energy optimisation services) and the Centre of Competence for Urban Mobility (consultancy for cities).