WHILE THE E300 SOUNDS
like a solid fuel-alternative option, we wanted to see how its features measure up against the BMW i3.
The biggest difference is that the E300 is a hybrid, while the i3 is an electric vehicle (EV). The EV has zero emissions and is even quicker to 100km/h than the Mercedes (7.5 seconds) but there are a few trade-offs.
Top speed maxes out at a modest
150km/h. And charging facilities on all EV’s are almost entirely absent. The i3’s battery needs six hours to reach a 100% charge. Its
range on a full charge is 160km, meaning this is never going to be a family holiday car.
However, most of us use cars in the city, and in the urban jam we tend to crawl at a pace far below our cars top speeds. According to BMW, the average distance driven daily worldwide is no more than 64km. But while the EV has obvious practical value, the question that needs answering is that while drivers may be ready to transition to very efficient hybrids, is the EV a bridge too far for consumers right now?
Guy Kilfoil, BMW’s GM for Group Communications, believes electric mobility addresses many of the urban sphere changes that are driven by global social, economic and environmental changes. “Electric mobility is necessary to meet future statutory CO targets,” he says.
BMW’s selling point for the i-models are the ultra lightweight carbon fibre body, aluminium chassis, battery with good ‘range stability’ and low running costs.