Journalists are receiving rides in the BMW’s i3 to get the word out on BMW’s next foray into electric motoring. And now some more tidbits about the i3 will come trickling out.
The primary electric drivetrain has been in place for some time and is being trialled in the Active E. BMWBLOG has driven and written extensively regarding the Active E and the thought of that drivetrain in a smaller lighter car is intriguing.
We’ve seen the prototypes and have written about the passenger cell construction. The interior will be open and airy, and will be designed to maximize useful space in a small package. Look for the latest connectivity hardware and software. BMW’s i range will drive the connected car concept to the fore.
While we know quite a bit about the electric motor, more information is now available regarding the range extender. It will supply charge to the batteries only, it will not be coupled to the drive wheels. The range extender is a two cylinder four-stroke 650 BMW designed motorrad engine produced by Kymco (the same motor that goes into the BMW C 650 GT scooter). It will provide an additional 60 or so miles of range to the existing battery pack. It will likely be a supplied as a unit for packaging in the lower passenger side of the backend of the car. It will be supplied with a 2.3 gallon gas tank.
The range extender will not provide an indefinite range for the vehicle in all likelihood. At the end of the day, you will have to plug the car into the grid to be recharged. Think of the range extender as a safety valve that allows you additional time to find a charging station.