Everything You Need to Know About BMW Electric Cars

BMW is rolling into an all-electric future with the 2022 i4 and iX xDrive50 and more to come in 2023.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 25, 2022
With the discontinuation of the
i3
in 2021,
BMW
currently only has the i4 and iX xDrive50 in its all-electric line-up for 2022. However, customers can expect to see this line-up expand in 2023 and beyond. 
BMW has built its image and reputation on the tagline, “The Ultimate Driving Vehicle,” The luxury brand’s beautifully designed cars do not skimp on quality or innovation. It’s no wonder that BMW is now turning its focus toward perfecting the ultimate electric vehicle in line with a rapidly shifting industry.  
Come with
Jerry
, a licensed
car insurance
broker and the first super app for car owners, as we dive into the specs and details of BMW’s all-electric cars. We’ll cover EVs of BMW’s past, present, and future, how they measure up against competitors, and how to start saving for a green future with affordable insurance. 
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Does BMW have electric cars?

BMW’s 2022 lineup includes two all-electric cars—the BMWi4 and the BMW iX. The company had also been producing the all-electric i3, although it ceased production after the 2021 model year. The manufacturer has clear plans to expand on this line-up starting with the 2023 BMW i7 anticipated to hit dealerships in the Fall of 2022. 

2022 BMW iX xDrive50

Starting price: $84,195
Powertrain: Two 5th generation electric synchronous motors w/ combined 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque
Driving range: Up to 324 miles
Charging time: 10.5 hours at 240 volts
The BMW iX xDrive50 is just the first release of the brand’s breakout all-electric SUV model. The iX seats five comfortably and offers a fantastic highway range—two important checkmarks for the family whole likes to travel. Even better than the iX’s ergonomic success? It’s the most sustainable vehicle that BMW has ever produced.
The iX is also designed for top-notch performance in a category of vehicles where it’s easy to fall short. The impressive 516-horsepower of this SUV’s two electric motors powers an all-the-time AWD and can send the car from zero-to-60 in a mere 4 seconds. Carbon-fiber reinforcements in the body paneling help keep the iX lightweight, and the interior is decked out with the level of technology you’d expect for almost $85,000. A high-performance-oriented iX M60 model is slated for release in 2023 starting at $106,095.
Just don’t expect to get an easy full charge for your iX from a standard 120-volt outlet—it’ll take about 100 hours. However, plugging into a DC fast charging station can get your charge from 10% to 80% in 40 minutes.

2022 BMW i4

Starting price: $56,395
Powertrain: Single (eDrive40) or dual (M50) electric motor and 83.9-kWh lithium-ion battery w/335-536 hp and 317-586 lb-ft torque
Driving range: 245 (M50) to 300 miles (eDrive40)
Charging time: 9 hours at 240 volts
Now, this is an all-electric low-riding sedan to go up against the likes of a
Tesla Model 3
. The BMW i4 is based on the manufacturer's renowned 3 Series and can be had as the single-motor RWD eDrive40 or the dual-motor AWD M50. Both models are fitted to the max with ultra-luxurious detailing—peep the optional white upholstery with rose gold trim—and the latest in BMW’s infotainment technology—the iDrive 8. This 14.9-inch touchscreen blends seamlessly across the dash with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. 
Drivers who want a little more oomph behind their eco-friendly ride should opt for the performance-oriented i4 M50, able to reach 60 mph from standing in 3.3 seconds. Although you lose some driving range—245 miles compared to the eDrive40’s 300 miles—you get a power-packed ride comparable to that of a
BMW M3
—if not better. No matter what model you choose, stick to the standard wheel size to keep as much driving range as possible.
Much like the BMW iX, the BMW i4 charging times reach an 80% charge in only 40 minutes at public charging stations. At home, the level 2 onboard charger can complete a full charge from empty in less than 8 hours.

2021 BMW i3

Starting price: $45,445
Powertrain: Single electric motor and a 42.2-kWh lithium-ion battery w/161-181 hp and 184-199 lb-ft torque
Driving range: 153 miles
Charging time: 7 hours at 240 volts
Compared to the bar-raising iX and i4 the recently discontinued BMW i3 is, unfortunately, best left in the past. The all-electric hatchback represents a relatively feeble attempt to innovate the industry—its futuristic design elements set high expectations for a powertrain and performance that just don’t live up.
The i3’s meager 153-mile driving range is perhaps its most-underwhelming attribute—especially when compared to a non-luxury competitor like the
Chevrolet Bolt
’s 259 miles. To make up for this less-than-stellar distance, BMW offered the optional
i3 REX
which paired the electric powertrain with a 0.6-liter two-cylinder gasoline engine that could take over when electric power ran out—a rather ironic twist for this otherwise eco-friendly vehicle.
Despite its underwhelming specs, the i3 represents but a moment in the BMW EV history books. Thankfully, the manufacturer has shown this moment to be a teachable one, as BMW already has new and improved electric vehicles hitting the eco-friendly market.

2023 BMW i7

Starting price: $120,295
Powertrain: Duel electric motors and a 101.7-kWh battery w/ combined 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque
Driving range: Estimated 300 miles
Charging time: Full charge information not available yet
Speaking of new and improved vehicles, the brand-new 2023 BMW i7—slated to arrive in the fall of 2022—boasts the continued improvement of EV technology already in use in the i4 and iX. 
Dubbed as a “masterpiece,the i7 promises to be much more than just an impressive electric vehicle. The interior is fitted with a gold mine of premium technology:
  • The latest in iDrive infotainment
  • BMW Interaction Bar built into the interior’s trim lights
  • An LED-lit roof panel with programmed light shows
  • An optional 31.3-inch Theatre Screen for backseat passengers
  • Seven drive sound effects designed by Dune’s Oscar-winning Hans Zimmer 
While full-charging times are still not available for the i7’s extra-large 101.7-kWh battery, the powerful electric motors are expected to get this masterpiece from zero-to-60 mph in at least 4.5 seconds. Owners can expect to replenish 80 miles of driving range in 10 minutes when plugged into a public charging station, and it gets even better. BMW is including three years of complimentary 30-minute charging sessions from Electrify America with every new i7 sold.

How do BMW’s electric cars compare to competitors?

The i3 may not have held up against even the bottom-line of competitors, but it’s in the past for a reason. So how are these newer BMW electric cars holding up against their competitors? 
Of course, a major factor in brand comparisons can come down to loyalty and aesthetic preferences. If you’ve been known to fly the blue and white of BMW’s Bavarian-flag-inspired logo for a while, odds are you’re going to favor the manufacturer’s EVs. See how your bias measures up to the facts when it comes to range and charging time, performance, and affordability over time

Driving range and charging time

As we saw in the downfall of the BMW i3, driving range—the distance a vehicle can travel on a single charge—can make or break an EV’s success. Similarly, the time it takes for your EV to refill its charge can also drastically change the convenience of your vehicle.
As far as driving range is concerned, the newer EVs in BMW’s lineup can certainly hold their own against almost all competitors. It’s hard to beat Tesla’s top performers, but all three of BMW’s current and upcoming EVs can break 300-miles—an impressive and uncommon feat compared to the lineups of competitors like Hyundai and Kia.The BMW’s charging times, however, are exceedingly average, if not just a tad subpar. 
Check the specs yourself in this breakdown of BMW’s EV line-up compared to its competitors.
Model
Driving range
Charging time
Charging time w DC fast charger
2022 BMW iX
324 miles
10.5 hrs at 240v
10-80% in 40 min
2022 BMW i4
245-300 miles
9 hrs at 240v
15-80% in 40 min
2023 BMW i7
300 miles
N/A
80 mi range in 10 min
2022 Kia EV6
310 miles
7 hrs at 220v
10-80% in 18 mins
2022 Kia Niro EV
239 miles
9 hrs at 220v
10-80% in 1 hr
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
220-303 miles
6 hrs at 220v
10-80% in 18 min
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric
258 miles
10 hrs at 220v
10-80% in 75 min
2022 Volkswagen ID.4
280 miles
7.5 hrs at 220v
0-80% in 38 min
2022 Tesla Model Y
303-330 miles
10 hrs at 220v
10-80% in 22 min
2022 Tesla Model X
335-351 miles
6.5-10 hrs at 220v
10-80% in under 30 min
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Performance

Tesla is yet again a near-impossible competitor to beat when it comes to power and speed. However, BMW’s entire lineup of EVs demonstrates a consistent performance that rises above plenty of competitors. Just remember to take the manufacturer’s 2.5/5 reliability rating into consideration when you’re weighing the powertrain outputs and zero-to-60 times.
Model
Maximum horsepower
Maximum torque
0 to 60 time
2022 BMW iX
516 hp
564 lb-ft
4 seconds
2022 BMW i4 M50
536 hp
586 lb-ft
3.3 seconds
2022 BMW i7
536 hp
549 lb-ft
est. 4.5 seconds
2022 Kia EV6
576 hp
446 lb-ft
4.5 seconds
2022 Kia Niro EV
201 hp
291 lb-ft
6.2 seconds
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
320 hp
446 lb-ft
4.5 seconds
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric
201 hp
290 lb-ft
6.4 seconds
2022 Volkswagen ID.4
295 hp
339 lb-ft
5.4 seconds
2022 Tesla Model Y
est. 480 hp
375 lb-ft
3.6 seconds
2022 Tesla Model X
1,020 hp
713 lb-ft
3.3 seconds

Cost of ownership

The upfront costs of a BMW EV are perhaps the elephant in the room for this notoriously expensive luxury car brand. While BMW’s current and future EVs of interest are still too new to have real number estimates for long-term ownership, here are some points of solace regarding BMW’s all-electric affordability: 
  • BMW estimates the costs of owning an all-electric i4 to be 30% less than its combustion engine equivalents. 
  • The all-electric i4 M50 starting price is less than that of its comparable M3 counterpart.
  • Incentives for EV ownership
    and federal tax credits can offset ownerships by at least $7500.
That said, a BMW is not going to be the cheapest electric car on the market—it won’t even come close. The iX does have the
Tesla Model X
beat for starting price by about $30,000, but the less-expensive i4 can’t compare to the
Kia
EV6, starting at $40,900, the
Hyundai Ioniq 5
, starting at $39,950, or the
Volkswagen ID.4
, starting at $41,230.

How to decide if going electric is right for you

Going electric is a wonderful decision for the planet, whether you’re buying a BMW or a less-expensive competitor. However, ditching gasoline is a major commitment. Consider the following before finalizing your switch
  • Charging station access: While you can charge your vehicle at home, EV ownership is best suited for areas where you can charge while you’re on the go, too.
  • Daily mileage usage: Compare your EV of choice’s driving range to the maximum mileage you would expect to need for day-to-day ease. 
  • Frequency of long trips: Even if your EV’s range suffices for day-to-day activity, it may not suffice if you regularly need to drive long distances. The good news is most BMW EVs can handle up to 300 miles in one charge, but does that meet your extra needs?
  • At-home charging station installation: A garage is the easiest place to install your EV’s at-home charging station. If you don’t have a garage the logistics could get considerably tricky. 
Along with helping the planet, buying an electric BMW can also help you take advantage of at least $7,500 in federal tax credits—among other local incentives and rebates. Plus, these vehicles are quiet, fun, and impressive when they hit the road and you may never have to step foot in a gas station again. Just make sure you’re prepared to account for charging times and some high upfront costs.
If you’re not quite ready to go fully electric, you can still do your part to move away from gasoline, by looking at BMW’s hybrid options—like the
X5 xDrive40i
or the
540i
.

BMW’s electric future

BMW expects EV sales to make up 50% of its profits by 2030, but the manufacturer doesn't plan to fully remove itself from combustion engine vehicles. Instead, BMW is producing in line with its “Power of Choice” model plan, which aims to have four powertrain variants available for each of its main model lines. As part of this plan, the manufacturer has nine new electric vehicles slated for release over the next ten years.

Plan for the future with affordable car insurance

Purchasing an electric BMW isn’t the only way to plan for a better and brighter future.
Jerry
is here to compliment the electric car-buying process with the best and brightest in affordable car insurance shopping.
Once you download the app and complete an easy 45-second sign-up, you’ll see how Jerry has taken a dreaded, boring task like comparison shopping and made it fast, efficient, and maybe even a little fun. Your electric car’s future is sure to look even brighter once you start browsing the competitive quotes sourced from Jerry’s network of 50+ top providers.
Wrap up your comparison shopping in under 5 minutes with help from Jerry’s insurance experts to cancel your old policy and secure your new one. You won’t just be saving time—the average Jerry user saves over $800 a year!
 
“Insurance companies originally charged me $189 while driving my BMW 300 miles per year. Thanks to
Jerry
, I only pay $56! I’m so happy.”  —Ray T.
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