BMW i3 - Automotive Teardown


In August 2014, TechInsights' and Munro & Associates Inc. – the global leaders in costing and benchmarking – began their joint deep-dive teardown, costing and benchmark study to reveal BMW's costing and production secrets. The BMW i3 marks the beginning of the new “i” series of mass-produced zero emission electric cars and features extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic to reduce weight and increase the vehicles driving range – a first in class achievement for mass production.

Knowing the cost and how BMW produced the BMW i3, a radically new design utilizing carbon fiber extensively for the first time in a high production electric vehicle, will be a strategic advantage to other automakers, and materials, component and manufacturing equipment suppliers.

The Study

  • Is the first extensive, complete analysis – in regards to costing of parts and processes – of the BMW i3.
  • Provides complete IC analysis, design win information, and Bill of Materials costing of the vehicles electronics systems, including the infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems, engine control modules, body control modules and the battery system.
  • Offers insight into the construction of the systems used to house and protect the BMW i3’s electronics from both environmental and physical damage.
  • Allows for access to the vehicles construction and design and the impact these had on the implementation and choice of providers for the electronic systems.
  • Is targeted for completion in late 2014; with the customized reports available for purchase in December.

The coverage of the electronic modules, systems, and devices will result in the following data being produced:

1. Photographs of:
  • External facets of the assembled unit with user interface annotations, main product label, and included accessories
  • Teardown of major subassemblies, connectors, subassembly placement, antennas, circuit boards with shields removed
  • Circuit board with annotations of major ICs identified
  • X-ray images for multi die packages

2. System block diagram describing functional relationship of major ICs and subsystems

3. Tables including:
  • Product description, dimensions, and features
  • Key subsystem identification, description, and dimensions
  • For major and minor IC: description, dimensional data, package and die markings, die elements, and cost estimates
  • For every module (including crystals, filters, microphones, speakers, and similar): identification, markings, dimensional data, and cost estimates
  • For every active discrete (including diodes, transistors, and similar): identification, markings, dimensional data, and cost estimate
  • Passive discrete (including coils, capacitors, and similar): identification, dimensional data, and aggregate cost estimates
  • For every connector: identification, dimensions, and cost estimates
  • For every substrate (including PCB and flex): identification and dimensional data
  • For every non-electronic element (including metal, plastic, glass, foam, and similar): identification, dimensional data, and cost estimates
  • Cost estimates for full product, including final assembly and test

4. An accompanying spreadsheet containing the tables above

About Munro & Associates

Founded in 1988, Munro & Associates Inc. is a world class consulting engineering firm based in Troy, Mich. with offices in Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia. The firm specializes in upfront, predictive methods to increase profitability by improving quality, reliability and value, while reducing total lifecycle costs. The Munro team delivers in-depth knowledge in product design, manufacturing, quality and technologies from a broad selection of industries. For more information, visit


TechInsights' maintains the largest library of device teardown, design win, and bill of materials costing data in the consumer electronics, mobile device, smart phone, digital home and wearable electrics market. With 15 years and over 2,000 device analyzed our services provide unparalleled access to competitive intelligence, engineering design, discrete integrated circuit insights, and supply chain data. For more information visit