The BMW i3 range extender option – a small 650cc 2-cylinder engine to extend the range – adds around 10 per cent to the price of a standard i3.
The BMW i3 – BMW’s first foray in to a world of electric cars – was officially revealed in July – and due on sale in 2014 – and seems, by electric car standards, to be almost affordable.
At a starting price of £30,680 – £25,680 after the taxpayer bribe for EV buyers – it’s no more expensive than other electric cars and does come with some clever technology – and the BMW badge – that will help it move out of showrooms.
But as we reported as far back as 2011, the BMW i3 is to get a range-extender option – a small petrol engine that kicks in to recharge the batteries when they get low – which will make the i3 a much more practical proposition.
When BMW revelaed prices for the i3 in July, they hadn’t decided just how much extra the range-extender will cost, but noiw they have – at least in the US.
In the US, where the i3 starts at $41k, BMW is to charge an extra $3,950 for the range-extender option, which probably menas an extra cost in the UK of something between £3-3.5k. Which seems quite a lot.
But as the majority of i3 buyers will probably turn out to be BMW customers buying a second car (or third, or fourth or…) an extra £3k to take away range anxiety won’t be much of a barrier, especially as it will double the i3’s range of around 80 miles and allow owners to just fill up at a petrol station to continue their journey.
We wouldn’t mind betting BMW will sell more i3s with the range extender option than without.