BMW i3 aluminum chassis frame: Drive Module characteristics

A rational frame construction featuring a highly rigid chassis

2017/10/27

Summary

The body-on-frame construction of the BMW i3 EV is comprised of two independent modules. The Drive Module integrates the drive system, battery, and chassis components with the chassis frame. This structure serves as the foundation of the Life Module, which is essentially the cabin or passenger cell, which is made from CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforced plastic) and equipped with all of the controls for operating the vehicle. The rear of the frame is made from aluminum die cast, on which the five-link rear suspension system is mounted as well as all of the electric drivetrain components such as the electric motor, gearbox, and inverter. The design of the frame functions to support the front suspension to absorb impact energy in the event of a frontal collision by using a combination of extruded aluminum, aluminum die-casting, and welded aluminum reinforcement plates. Also, the strength of the frame is increased through reinforcements welded with aluminum piping. In addition, the Drive Module is constructed so that the battery is located in a sturdy aluminum housing mounted in the underbody section of the frame, below the cabin at the center of the vehicle.

BMW i3のドライブモジュールとライフモジュール
BMW i3’s Drive Module and Life Module

 

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Related Reports:

BMW i3: Battery System (April 2017)
BMW i3: CFRP Life Module Vehicle Structure (April 2017)