BMW will offer the new EV i3 with the use of a SUV to avoid the fate of slowly selling EVs.
Customers of the first BMW electric model have the possibility to book a conventional vehicle, such as the full-sized X5 SUV for several weeks per year as a backup or for family trips. The German automaker has not yet announced the pricing for the “add-on mobility” feature, which is part of the automaker’s strategy to overcome a major concern about EV: running out of battery in the middle of the road.
To regain customer’s confidence regarding the EVs, BMW is also offering an optional combustion engine which will generate electricity on board, navigation system to show the available charging stations and roadside assistance in case the battery runs out during a trip.
The German automaker unveils today, July 29th, the i3 EV, at events on three continents. BMW has invested more than 2 billion euro for this project, according to the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.
“The i3 is important in terms of image for BMW because it keeps alive the message that the company is daring,” said Carlos Da Silva, an analyst with IHS Automotive in Paris.
In 2014 VW’s Audi will also introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the A3 compact, while Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will introduce an EV version of the B-Class compact next year.