BMW has revealed that their MegaCity cars will have the option of a range extender engine to make them more than just commuter transport.
A year ago, when BMW revealed the BMW Concept ActiveE 1-Series in Detroit we had a big old press release. And inside that press release was the small gem that the MegaCity part of BMW’s project-i would include drivetrains other than electric.
We’re not sure BMW ever said that its MegaCity cars would be all electric, although we’re probably not alone in having assumed that. But it’s now clear that BMW are far more shrewd than many other car makers, as BMW’s CFO Frederick Eichinerhave revealed plans to offer a range-extender option on the MegaCity cars – by far the most sensible hybrid route.
The beauty of going the range-extender route – just like the Audi A1 e-Tron – is that you get all the benefits of a small, electric car for use in town – where electric cars belong – but the ability to use it for doing more than just a short commute.
The MegaCity electric car would probably have a real world range of about 40 miles (you have to get back again) which makes it useless away from the commute or popping to the local shops.
But stick in a small ICE engine (Audi are planning a 250cc Wankel for the A1) and you can then go as far as your petrol will allow with the ICE charging the batteries as you drive. And when you get low on juice you splash and dash at the garage with petrol instead of waiting overnight for some electrickery.
So good to see BMW being properly smart instead of just following the electric car fad like sheep.