BMW i: unisex electric cars

By November 2013, the BMW i brand dedicated to sustainable development of the German manufacturer, must formalize the launch of these two electric models: the coupe concept i3 and i8 concept spyder. These cars promise to combine innovation, environmental sensitivity and hedonism.

BMW: an eco-responsible company

BMW has been working for years to improve automotive technology. The first electric attempt of the brand was in 1972. Aware of the many changes in our planet, such as global warming, depletion of natural resources and urbanization, the BMW Group is working on its social responsibility. For this reason the BMW i brand was conceived with the perspective of creating new innovative and inspiring cars. (1)

The brand has won seven consecutive times the leader place of the « Dow Jones Sustainability Index, » the most significant global market index for companies involved in sustainable development. This distinction of BMW Group makes it the most successful premium car manufacturer in the world in terms of sustainable development since 2005.

Global sustainable development policy

This eco-responsible strategy is radical for BMW, imperatives of sustainable development are integrated at all levels of the production chain. Some U.S. factories are self-fulfilling energy through wind turbines or solar panels, a social policy about ergonomic workplace was achieved to improve the workers’ everyday life, the choice of materials is made conscientiously and recycling is increasingly important in the manufacture of automobiles, etc..

Electric technology and driving pleasure are not contradictory

The amazing and futuristic design of i3 model symbolizes the technological revolution initiated by the BMW i brand. This car has the markers of a real handy city.

« Design is a quality promise made to the customer who is required by the pleasure derived from the product. The design shows the first glance the experience that you can live with the car. « Said Adrian van Hooydonk, head designer of BMW Group

Ecological awareness and well-being dictated all stages of creation of these two new cars. For example, the use of carbon was favored in the design. This new material, which is not yet commonly used in the automotive industry, is extremely light and allows comfort with driving while offsetting the significant weight of electrical technologies.

With BMW i, the German constructor creates the « next premium », that is to say, the reinvention of the premium, be easier and focus on the essentials. For Antoine Bourbonneux, Director BMW i brand, the goal is to provide revolutionary vehicles, combining environmental awareness and driving pleasure.

Sustainable development: a global imperative that speaks particularly to women

Favoring a complete offer, BMW i proposes to its future (s) customers a range of services, named « 360 electric », to facilitate their daily : specific assistance to electric vehicles, home charging, public partnerships for refills, flexible mobility. This last service consists of making the ride easier on motorists: premium car-sharing vehicles BMW i (now Drive), a mobile application for switching to public transport when you are stuck in traffic, etc..

BMW wants to make life easier for motorists while preserving the environment. These ecological values and hedonism are the heart of the concerns of both men and women. These are particularly sensitive to these issues. According to ADEME (Agency for Environment and Energy Management) studies show that environmental values are more prevalent for women. They are thus more likely than men to think that behavioral changes can contribute to solving environmental problems. (2) Womenology addressed these issues in a previous article « Women do not have the same understanding of ecology as men. »

Women therefore represent a particularly promising market for the electric car industry. In October 2012, the « Ladies in Mobility association! « Initiated by IMED (Mediterranean Institute of Studies and Sustainable Development), also launched a study to understand the future relations between women and sustainable mobility.

In line with this feminine sensibility to sustainable development, BMW  want to bring men and women around a project of brand communication. For example, the flyer below illustrates the symmetry adopted to target both men and women.

Sources :
(1) Press conference, april 2013, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

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