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BMW i3: half of buyers to opt for range extender

BMW believes half the buyers of its new i3 electric car will pay a premium for a range extending petrol engine option rather than rely on battery power alone.
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The BMW i3, the first model from the German car maker’s new i brand devoted to sustainable motoring, has a range of about 160km from its lithium-ion battery. This can be almost doubled to about 300km with the two-cylinder bike engine that acts as a generator.

The range extender option – used as the standard set-up in the Holden Volt – costs 4500 Euros and is expected to cost up to $10,000 in Australia when the car goes on sale locally in the second half of 2014 potentially priced from about $60,000.

BMW Australia said it expected the same even split locally, though that’s less surprising considering our greater distances and the fact Europe has a healthy choice of fast-charging stations in a number of cities.

There are 97 in Amsterdam, for example, where BMW staged the i3’s international launch.
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