review

BMW ready to take on Tesla Model 3 with i4 electric sedan

The i4 sedan is built on the same assembly line as internal combustion engine and hybrid models such as the 3 Series.

25 October 2021

author
Liz Dobson
AutoMuse Reviewer

BMW's first sales-ready i4 full-electric sedans have rolled off production lines at its main plant in Munich as the German giant gets ready to take on Tesla’s Model 3 success.

The i4 sedan is built on the same assembly line as the internal combustion engine and hybrid models such as the 3 Series. A similar mixed assembly line is already underway in the automaker's Dingolfing plant, which produces the BMW iX full-electric SUV alongside hybrid and combustion engine models.

By 2023, over half of all vehicles from the Munich facility will have an electrified drive either fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, said BMW board member for production Milan Nedeljkovic.

“For the plant and team, the launch of the BMW i4 is a milestone on the road to electric mobility,” said Nedeljković.

The main difference between the BMW i4 and conventional architectures is the electric drive and high-voltage battery. About 90 percent of the existing systems in the Munich bodyshop can still be used for the new model. Additional ones were required only for the floor assembly and rear end.

The battery pack is now bolted onto the body by a new, fully automated battery assembly system that works from below. Fully automated, high-resolution camera systems scan it thoroughly beforehand to ensure the surface is absolutely clean and there are no impurities that could cause damage.

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