BMW i3 electric sedan catches fire in China

As you might know, BMW is re-using the ‘i3’ nameplate for an all-electric version of the 3 Series—which is gonna be sold only in China initially. It appears that BMW still needs to do some fine-tuning on the i3 Sedan, especially with regards to the battery pack, related electronics and maybe even the cooling system. A video clip shared by the local media shows flames coming from the car’s floor, the place where the battery pack is housed.

But interestingly and fortunately, the flames remain contained in a relatively small area and do not go bonkers like you might have seen in typical EV battery pack fires. It was probably a few defective cells in one of the modules in the pack, and I guess a strong housing saved the rest of the vehicle.

It was apparently a test drive car from a nearby dealership, and I didn’t understand why the fire was let to rage slowly like a caged wild animal for so long.

The i3 sedan is powered by a single electric motor at the rear, offering 210 kW (285.5 metric hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. Official performance figures are 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). A 70 kWh battery pack is good for a range (CLTC) of up to 526 km (327 mi).

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