BMW is looking to stave off electric vehicle range anxiety with a new program that offers buyers a free gasoline loaner with every i3 purchase. Ward's Auto reports BMW is confident that the EV will give buyers the kind of transportation they need for 90 percent of their trips. The loaners, meanwhile, will be available for those few occasions when drivers need to cover more ground than the machine's batteries will allow. The i3 gets around with help from a 180-horsepower electric motor paired with a lithium-ion battery pack.
The combo is good for trips of between 80 and 100 miles depending on driving habits and weather conditions, though BMW also plans to offer a model with a small two-cylinder range-extending gasoline engine as well. That option will likely set you back an additional $4,000. When the machine bows in 2014, it will likely come with a charge time of four to six hours when suckling from a 220-volt outlet.
As far as the conventionally powered loaner car goes, the cost of the program is included in the i3's purchase price, though BMW has yet to figure out how many free loans will be offered, or what happens after that threshold is reached.