BMW unveils its i3 electric car

USA Today reports:

BMW is introducing the electric car that its hopes will become the industry benchmark, the one that overcomes range anxiety and stays true to the performance orientation of the brand.

Designed as a compact city car, the i3′s range isn’t terribly remarkable — 80 to 100 miles like other electric cars. It is driven by 170-horsepower electric motors. But it will have a tiny rear engine — two-cylinders, 34-horsepower — that can double the car’s range.

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8 responses to “BMW unveils its i3 electric car

  1. This sounds closer to a really functional electric car. Getting a 200-mile range makes it far more practical for a place like Montana, where it can easily be 75 miles between gas stations. (I know, I’ve watched that needle and the road signs!). The price is mighty high, but then it’s a Beamer.
    I sure jeepers hope the buyers are paying the whole tab. I’d be resentful of subsidizing them like we do Volt or Prius buyers.

  2. Made In 1968, my Fiat 500 had a 30hp enginge and a range of 200 to 300 kilometres. It could cruise at about 75km/h on a cool day. It lasted well into 1990s.

    • Impressive life span. When I was doing my post doc, another pd sent his Fiat to the dealer for some repair. After about 3 weeks of being told the work would be finished in 2 days, he begged them to fix it because it was his only care. The response was “you mean you have a Fiat and don’t have another car?”

      • I hear you, Bob. Those tiny Fiats did not exactly represent the best available technology of the day, but they were quite affordable if you knew how to keep them from falling apart. We didn’t have any dealers or any services where I lived. To make up for that, there were relatively few parts in those things, they were maintenance-friendly, and many parts could be fixed or rebuilt. They did not require special tools. I used to tip my car to the side using just my own hands, without a jack, whenever there was anything on the underside that needed fixing. I could use its own tire tubes to drop the engine and the engine itself was so simple I could overhaul it during a family picnic out in the wild.

        And it was a good ride. What other car is out there today that you can drive up and down stairs, that gets you through the mud bad enough to trap 4x4s and allows you to squeeze between bollards? Thirty horsepower seemed quite enough for the most daring antics.

        When my friends asked me why I didn’t care to get myself a proper car, I used to tell them that it was a fully functional analogue of a car, and that any differences between a Fiat and a proper car were negligible compared to the difference between either and no car at all.

  3. More of hybrid, given the need for a reserve gas engine. Not much of leap, though the pricing seems OK for a BMW.

  4. No Jim, the idea is similar to the Volt with a pure electric drive train. The reserve engine is just a generator and could in theory be replaced by anything to re-charge the battery (diesel engine, fuel cell etc.) – and you plug it in whenever you can.

    I like this concept as it gets rid of the whole legacy mechanical transmission, and thus saves a lot of weight, but the cost is just ridiculous (as is the Volt). The fact is that this is not a BMW as we are used to (a serious driving machine) and so the pricing is way too high.

  5. Why would anyone with $36,000 spend it on anything that i as butt ugly as this? What would the return on it as a used car be? For that much money, a 5 Series, with 2.5 liter engine be a better investment. Oh well, a fool and his money…

  6. Thank you Mossrock for giving such a good information regarding BMW unveils its i3 electric car as we know BMW is introducing the electric car that its hopes will become the industry benchmark, the one that overcomes range anxiety and stays true to the performance orientation of the brand. Designed as a compact city car, the i3′s range isn’t terribly remarkable — 80 to 100 miles like other electric cars and with much more comfort facilities. Really ,its a comfortable and having much more advanced fastest technology in it.

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