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BMW i8 celebrates one year on Middle East’s roads as world honours World Environment Day 2015

Globe’s most sustainable premium car company’s innovative and eco-friendly model upholds mission of worldwide environmental initiative

The world’s most progressive sports car, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid, is celebrating one year of sheer driving pleasure on the roads this month, as countries across the globe come together to mark World Environment Day (WED) 2015 on 5 June.

With sustainability a core element of BMW’s entire value chain, the premium car company’s commitment to eco-mobility has seen the company reduce the emissions produced by an average vehicle by 45% since 2006; a success that falls directly in line with the mission of the United Nations’ WED initiative.

Founding its dedicated sustainable BMW i sub-brand in 2011, through which it promotes emission-free driving, the premium car company’s innovative BMW i8 model aids in the combatting of global issues including energy independence and CO2 emissions through its maximum on-road efficiency. With the theme of this year’s WED, ‘7 Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care’, the innovative BMW i8 is a pioneer in ensuring that mass market electro-mobility is in fact no longer a dream, but a reality – especially in the Middle East.

Enhancing BMW’s commitment to a more sustainable future, Middle Eastern countries and cities have cemented their standing as eco-hubs. With sales of the BMW i8 in its first year reaching almost 100 in the GCC alone, the region is catering to the reality of such an electro-mobile future.

The first model available in the region from BMW i, the BMW i8 combines the performance and appeal of a sports car with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car. With its ultra-dynamic proportions, elegantly sporty lines, low-slung silhouette and futuristic design features, the BMW i8 has caused a sensation on the roads since going on sale across the Middle East in June last year.

Powered by a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine which, in typical BMW sports car fashion, drives through the rear wheels, the BMW i8’s intelligent hybrid system also capitalises on a potent electric motor which sends drive to the front wheels resulting in a combined power output of 362hp delivered to all four wheels.

When united, the dual motors (electric motor at the front and petrol engine at the rear) work in harmony enabling the BMW i8 to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds while using just 2.1 litres of petrol per 100kms and emitting just 59g/km of emissions. The BMW i8 has a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h, and can be operated solely in all electric drive (zero emissions) for around 37 kilometres – and the battery of the plug-in hybrid can be continuously charged by the petrol engine while driving. Due to its lightweight of just 1,485 kg, it provides a total drive range of more than 500 kilometres.

An all-embracing sustainability concept runs throughout the entire value chain of the BMW i8; carbon fibre production and vehicle assembly using 100-per cent renewable electricity; high proportion of recycled materials; use of materials manufactured and treated in an environmentally friendly manner.

A United Nations initiative to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment, WED is celebrated by stakeholders in more than 100 countries. Serving to galvanize individual actions to generate a collective positive impact on the environment, countries in the region have already cemented their standing as pioneers in eco-living.