BMW pow­ers up for the i3’s elec­tric ar­rival

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Carmel Stewart

THE BMW i3 is rolling qui­etly into show­rooms this month. The zero emis­sions, fourseater, rear-wheel-drive car is pow­ered by an elec­tric mo­tor that gen­er­ates an out­put of 170hp, with peak torque of 250Nm.

This lets it get from zero to 37mph in 3.7 sec­onds and zero to 62mph in 7.2 sec­onds and on to a top speed of more than 90mph.

A full charge takes six to eight hours, so BMW’s wall boxes can speed this.

The thorny ques­tion of range is dealt with by a lithium-ion bat­tery that al­lows for 80 to 100 miles de­pend­ing on driv­ing style. For most com­muters this will be more than ad­e­quate, par­tic­u­larly as a re­cent UK gov­ern­ment re­port found that the av­er­age daily com­mute is 13.1 miles each way with daily av­er­age drives of just 25 miles.

“Range anx­i­ety” has been over­come – be­cause the i3 is avail­able with a range­ex­ten­der en­gine – a 650cc two-cylin­der four-stroke petrol en­gine de­vel­op­ing 34hp – which in­creases the car’s max­i­mum range in day-to­day driv­ing to about 180 miles on one tank of fuel.

Prices, which in­clude the £5,000 OLEV Gov­ern­ment grant, start at £25,680 and £28,830 for the range ex­ten­der.

Most of those in­ter­ested are ex­pected to lease their ve­hi­cles.

BRUISER: The lat­est BMW elec­tric ve­hi­cle is start­ing to ap­pear on the roads.

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