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BMW lends i3 EV tech to Turkish company for electric city buses

Karsan is far from the only company BMW has helped electrify.

The i3 isn't a big car, but the Jest isn't exactly a big bus, either.


BMW doesn't just put electric motors and batteries in its own cars. Occasionally, the automaker will team up with another firm and share its tech, which is why there's a "BMW i" badge on the back of a new Turkish city bus.

BMW has partnered with Turkish manufacturer Karsan to electrify its new bus, called the Jest. The Jest will run using the i3's electric motors and its batteries. The bus is designed to sneak through inner-city streets, where a small footprint will aid its mobility. And it's not really that small, with a capacity of 26 passengers.

Since it's the same motor found in the BMW i3 (and not the sportier i3s), the Jest will have an output of 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It joins two of BMW's 44-kWh batteries together for a net capacity of 88 kWh, which should give the Jest a range of about 130 miles. According to BMW's estimates, with that range, the Jest should be able to run for about 18 hours before needing a charge.

This is far from BMW's first partnership in this arena. The automaker has also lent some of its energy storage tech to the Deutsche Post subsidiary Streetscooter. Streetscooter made the news earlier this year after it teamed up with Ford to unveil an electric DHL delivery van using Streetscooter's EV tech and a Ford Transit van body.

BMW's energy efforts aren't limited to traditional vehicles, either. The automaker has also lent the i3's batteries to Torqeedo, which uses the batteries to power electric motors for boats. The company has also supplied its batteries for more traditional energy storage use, such as storing energy generated from renewable sources at wind and solar plants.