Print 38 comment(s) - last by flyingpants1.. on May 15 at 3:00 AM

i3 EV will cost about the same as a nice 3-Series

BMW debuted the new i3 coupe at the LA auto show late last year. The automaker has now announced that the car will be priced at approximately $40,000 when it goes into production later this year, making it roughly the same price as the company's incredibly popular 3-Series sedan.

The tip on pricing for the electric vehicle comes via BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch. The CEO says that BMW [obviously] does not expect the electric car to be a volume model.

BMW will offer an optional two-cylinder 0.65-liter gasoline motorcycle engine and an auxiliary generator to charge the battery pack. That would make it somewhat similar to the Chevrolet Volt in operation.

The “green” BMW EV is expected to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. BMW also notes that it is currently waiting to hear from federal regulators if buyers who purchase the range-extended version featuring the optional engine will be able to get the $7,500 tax credit as well.

BMW is set to establish a program that will allow buyers of the pure electric vehicle to borrow a gasoline or diesel vehicle for longer trips. He did say that details are unclear at this point but the service will be offered "as an additional mobility package."

BMW currently expects most of it US dealer network, consisting 338 locations, to sell the i3 and the i8 hybrid sports car

Source: Auto News

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RE: It is not electric
By Mint on 5/7/2013 12:36:35 PM , Rating: 1

What's better for pollution? Somebody buying a gas car because they can't live with a pure EV? Or getting an EV with a smaller battery pack but includes a tiny engine that I use 5% of the time?

This is the future. Hopefully we'll get natural gas microturbines instead at some point, but motorcycle engines are fine in the meantime, even if they aren't as efficient as an Atkinson cycle engine (which is why the Volt is also a good direction to go down).

If the Tesla 60kWh (or even smaller battery) put one of these tiny engines in the 'frunk', it would be more usable than the 85kWh version.

RE: It is not electric
By SublimeSimplicity on 5/7/2013 12:57:32 PM , Rating: 3
Rumors (based on patent filings) are that Tesla is a step ahead of this. They are planning to use a consumable metal-air battery from (probably Phinergy) for range extension.

So imagine a 40kWh car (150 mile range) that would be enough for day-to-day needs, combined with an Aluminum-Air battery that costs on par to fuel to use when you need more range. Plus the Aluminum-Air battery/fuel-cell only adds about 100lbs to car and simple integration (no complex gearing, pumps, or wear parts).

RE: It is not electric
By Mint on 5/7/2013 6:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's a very interesting idea. I had no idea that using aluminum a non-rechargeable battery could be cost competitive with gasoline. I always wrote off air batteries because of cycling issues.

So I guess once or twice a year you'd go somewhere to swap out the range extender cell for a new one, maybe 1000 miles for $100. Even twice that is reasonable.

That really would be a game changer. I could still see some people prefer a tiny engine with gas tank, though, as even those couple trips per year would be annoying without widespread infrastructure.

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