BMW are looking to put the 'spark' back in the electric car market with two new i series cars that debuted at Geneva. BMW strive to solve the issue of 'range anxiety', saying while current electric models have an average range of 40 kilometres the i3 is capable of up to 160 kilometres.
Purchase the optional range extender however, and BMW says that range will rise to 300 kilometres. For consumers the cost of energy efficient cars is a major deterrent, but BMW says they can't give us a definitive answer at this stage -- except to say they will be keeping a strategic eye on the price level.
"We expect it will be competitive." BMW spokesman Scott Croaker told Carsguide. The new i series will be released in Australia next year, with the i3 coupe set for a mid-2014 launch and the i8 Spyder soon after.
BMW have also stated that if a certain journey is not possible with all energy saving measures exhausted, they will provide a replacement conventional BMW for a given number of days.
The German manufacturer has implemented a few drivers aids to make the electric car an attractive option with a range assistant, which can limit speed and consumption to increase the charge range, and also a display which can locate the nearest convenient charging stations.
BMW said that charging their electric vehicles will no longer be a time-consuming task with them claiming that you can charge 120kms of range in the time it takes to stop for a cup of coffee.
Whether that means the European designers like to take lengthy coffee breaks or the new i series really is a step ahead, we are likely to find out more as these cars move from concept to production.