BMW stressed time and again that the i3’s carbon-fiber reinforced plastic safety cell is very resistant, and this particular crash proves it.
According to the i3 owner testimonial, found on Inside EVs, his car was rear ended by a Cadillac CTS driver. The impact was so violent that the small Bimmer actually got pushed 175 feet (53 meters) from the point of impact. Even so, thanks to its state-of-the-art construction, it suffered little damage, especially compared with the Cadillac.
The tough accident didn’t take a toll on the i3’s stiff structure, as the vehicle’s doors and even the rear hatch opened and closed normally. Its driver reported minor interior damage caused by the collision and minor injuries (with no broken bones or cuts), unlike the Cadillac’s passengers, unfortunately, which were taken by ambulance to the hospital, as both of its airbags also deployed.
Still, you should take into consideration the fact that these type of accidents tend to favor the rear ended vehicle, especially if it's a hatch, which have a more rigid rear end, as the front of an automobile is constructed in a different way to adsorb more energy from an impact.
Nonetheless, thanks to its electric powertrain, the BMW i3 lacks a lot of additional parts found on “normal” cars, making for a more rigid construction. The final result is a car that can sustain a hefty smash without getting totaled.
Images courtesy of Inside EVs