UPDATE February 2014: High demand in Europe and the US, coupled with limited production capacity, has seen the i3's Australian debut pushed out to late in 2014.
According to BMW, and ISO, the potential greenhouse gas emissions for the total life cycle of the i3 is estimated to be around 30 to 50 percent less than in comparable ‘conventional’ vehicles.
The 30 percent figure is achieved by using existing energy sources in the EU, while the 50 percent reduction can be achieved when the vehicle is recharged entirely from ‘renewable’ energy, such as wind or solar power.
BMW says the ISO certification confirms that the strict targets it set for the production of the i3 have been met.
“For the first time in the history of the BMW Group, we already defined sustainable targets for a newly designed vehicle over the entire value chain during the early strategic phase,” BMW i’s Ulrich Kranz said.
“The inspection looked at the entire life cycle from extraction of raw materials and manufacture, through usage to recycling, in order to take account of all environmental aspects. The fact that this approach and its results are now being verified by a neutral agency demonstrates that we have adopted a pioneering roadmap.”
Environmental detail is everywhere in the i3, with everything from recycled carbon fibre-reinforced plastic offcuts and leather tanned with olive-leaf extract, to environmentally refined wood from certified cultivation used in the interior.
For the first time, wind turbines have been used at the plant of an automobile manufacturer in Germany where the i3 is built to supply electricity directly for production purposes on site.
The 2013 BMW i3 will make its official market debut on November 16, while an Australian debut is set to occur early in 2014.