At EVS29, BMW announces a new home energy system that uses new or old i3 battery packs.
The BMW i3, especially when wearing its Capparis White paint job, already looks a bit like some sort of futuristic escape pod launched to Earth from a spaceship. It was only a matter of time until the electric car got touched by the eager hands of a tuner to make it even more eye-popping. It is, after all, a BMW. Japanese tuner Garage Eve.Ryn appears to be the first to give the i3 the inevitable once over.
BMW has found a receptive audience for its first batches of plug-in vehicles in the good 'ole USA. The German automaker, which started selling its first mass-produced i plug-ins in Europe late last year, will send a higher percentage of those vehicles to the US because of strong demand here, according to Automotive News, which talked with BMW executive Ian Robertson. And the Americans might cause Bimmer to speed up production, to boot.
Apple unveiled details about its long-awaited Apple Watch yesterday and we now know that the $349, er, watch will be released to the public early next year. Amid the millions of features the watch has is the ability to provide real-time information on the battery charge level in a BMW i3 or i8 plug-in vehicle. The watches can also help locate the vehicles if, say, they're parked in a crowded lot. Because so many of us lose our Bimmers on a daily basis.
Gift to the world or trade bait? Tesla Motors announced this week it would open its patents for other automakers to use. That has analysts guessing whether the California-based electric-vehicle maker is looking to either swap trade secrets with other automakers or to expand the proverbial pie that represents the plug-in vehicle market. For its part, Tesla says the answer is B.
BMW is feeling continued good vibes from its recently launched i sub-brand of plug-in vehicles. The German automaker, which started selling its i3 battery-electric vehicle in Europe late last year, is finding better-than-expected demand for both the i3 and the i8 plug-in hybrid, Automotive News Europe says, citing an interview with BMW executive Ian Robertson.
Everyone loves that new-car smell, but not everyone loves that new-car tax. And whoever in New Jersey thought the extended-range version of the BMW i3 plug-in would be exempt from said tax was sorely mistaken, Green Car Reports says. To paraphrase the Garden State's favorite son, Bruce Springsteen, the first kick those drivers will take is when they hit the ground.
Think of the BMW i3's gas-powered range-extender as akin to driving around with a middle linebacker in the back seat. Except that football player will have a hard time pushing the car 60 miles or so once the battery runs out. Thankfully, he won't prevent you from getting a nifty tax credit either, according to BMWBlog, which isn't affiliated with the company.
To reverse the old Field of Dreams quote, they are coming, so BMW is building them. All indications are that US demand for the BMW i3 plug-in will be larger than initially expected. As a result, the automaker is upping production at its German factor by more than 50 percent in advance of stateside sales, Automotive News says, citing BMW boardmember Harald Krueger.
Anyone who questions BMW's effort or sincerity on electrified vehicles should have a chat with Hildegard Wortmann, the German automaker's senior vice president over product management for automobiles and aftersales. I was fortunate to do just that at the Detroit North American International Auto Show earlier this year.
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