BMW Offers Gasoline Option for its i3 EV image

BMW plans to attract customers for its I electric-car lineup by offering extra services and also gasoline-powered models.

Marcus Krieg, a sales and marketing manager, said that BMW will offer optional at-home fast-charging systems for the EV model, which will hit the market at the end of this year. The i3 city car’s onboard navigation software will be able to detect the nearest charging station when traveling and owners of the model will have the possibility to borrow a gasoline-fueled model from their dealer for the traveling requiring longer range.

BMW risks a lot with the four-seat i3 EV, taking into consideration that Nissan’s Leaf EV could reach even half of the 20,000 units target set for 2012. The German automaker will offer the model at the lowest price possible, with a sales setup aimed at limiting distribution costs.

“The BMW group is charting new territory,” Harald Krueger, the carmaker’s head of production, said at a separate presentation near Leipzig. “We are confident we will earn money with every BMW i3 we sell from the launch on.”

The i3 might be priced at about 40,000 euro ($52,200) and will be followed by the i8 electric-gasoline hybrid sports car which will hit showrooms at the beginning of 2014, priced at around 100,000 euro.