Industry

New BMW car will use motorcycle engine

Car that was 'born electric' takes up smoking before its second birthday

BMW will use a motorcycle engine in their new electric car.

The move has come after fears that customers may not feel that a purely electric vehicle will offer them sufficient range. While arguably it's a sensible option, it detracts from the car's tagline, which is 'born electric'.

BMW's i3, due to be released at the end of this year, is a five-door hatchback that claims a 100-mile range for four people and luggage from the battery alone.

The motorcycle engine option is billed as a 'range extender' and will cost around £3,000 on top of the i3's anticipated £35,000 price-tag. With the addition of a 650cc parallel twin engine from BMW's motorcycle division, the range will be doubled to 200-miles.

However the motorcycle engine won't power the car directly, instead it will act as a generator for the battery which will kick-in once the battery's initial charge has drained.

We reckon BMW should also produce an i3 without batteries but just using the frugal 65mpg parallel-twin 650cc motorcycle engine and a large tank, to create a low-emission car with a huge range.

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