After four years in production, BMW has built the 100,000th i3 at its plant in Leipzig, Germany.
The current 530e iPerformance is priced on a par with its petrol equivalent in Australia, in spite of the lack of Federal subsidies or incentives.
To celebrate the production milestone, the company is commissioning a giant battery farm populated with decommissioned batteries from the i3.
The setup features power packs form up to 700 cars to soak up excess power from the grid during off-peak times, and feeds it back in during peak periods, or when production is low.
“We are proud of the 100,000th BMW i3 built by our plant in Leipzig,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG.
“The BMW i3 is the original, a true technological pioneer. With BMW ‘i’ as our spearhead, we intend to remain the leading premium supplier of electro-mobility going forward. We are now looking ahead to the next member of the BMW i family, the i8 Roadster, which will expand our leading position in the field of electro-mobility. In 2025, we will offer our customers a total of 25 models with electrified drivetrains.”
This isn’t the first time BMW has looked to old batteries for energy storage. The company unveiled plans to put old i3 batteries on the wall as part of a solar system, allowing home owners to cut their power bills by supplementing power from the grid with solar energy in peak periods.
Although they might not be cut out for life on the road, used batteries generally still have the capacity to work well in less stressful, stationary applications like the home, where they aren’t in a constant state of charging or discharging.
French manufacturer Renault says ‘second-life batteries’ are a step towards “circular economy implementation” of the technology.