BMW to offer free gasoline-powered loaners to electric car buyers

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

If you've ever driven an electric car, you've probably experienced range anxiety. It's the worry of draining your motive car battery partway through your journey and then not being able to find an outlet to recharge. German brand BMW thinks it has a way to at least partially appease would-be electric car buyers when it's own line of battery-powered vehicles hits the market in the near future: a gasoline-powered vehicle loaner program.

The idea makes a fair bit of sense. BMW will offer gasoline-powered loaners to its electric-car buyers free of charge so that they'll have an available vehicle for taking longer trips when needed. Want to visit mom and dad back at the farm for the weekend? Simply book a BMW loaner car and take your trip. BMW believes its loaner program will be used about 10-percent of the time, specifically when trips are longer than the usual maximum EV range of 130 to 160 kilometres.

While BMW's innovative loaner car concept makes sense for vacations and possibly longer trips across town and back, it won't eliminate range anxiety for day to day driving. Obviously if the owner of a future BMW i3 is only driving a set distance daily, say to and from work, there shouldn't be any concern about battery's capability of getting the job done, but deviate from that set course to go shopping in another area or visit a friend for lunch and you'll be counting kilometres on the trip odometer to make sure you can get all the way home.

BMW may find its plan to introduce an electric car with a small two-cylinder gasoline-powered range extender engine, similar in concept to Chevrolet's Volt, is a more confidence-inspiring way to resolve range anxiety. Electric cars with range extender engines don't offer the longer range-capability of an all-electric EV, but they deliver better results than a conventional hybrid while giving consumers the type of go-anywhere mobility they're used to.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: EV, BMW, i3 Concept Coupe, Electric,

Organizations: BMW

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page