Family members: The i3 Concept Coupe joins two other vehicles in BMW's i sub-brand. The i8 plug-in hybrid (right) will reach production in 2014, and the five-door all-electric i3 EV will come out in 2013. (Source: BMW)
It's a shame we never see the concept look on the road. The typical USA consumer wants a more mundane look, or so car companies have admitted (via research). The 100 mile range is pretty standard for EVs. Since it is a BMW the price will reflect the brand. Too bad you can't just pay the "brand tax" for a larger battery.
Cap'n, this is great stuff. By rethinking the design of a car, they have been able to save lots of weight. Isn't that what I have been going on and on about lately. Actually, the concept of having a break away frame with a passenger module is from Formula 1 racing. If you see one of those cars crash, they braek up all over the place and then the driver walks away from the wreck. It is an idea that is long overdue in the passenger car market. Let's hope this becomes a trend.
The hybrid is also very interesting in that the two types of motor drive separate axles. With modern Engine Management Systems (EMS) for the ICE and a controller for the electric engine, it should be very reasonable to use both types without the need for the complex gearing system found in parallel hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius. It seems that you can then have a front wheel drive electric car, a rear wheel drive conventional car and an all wheel drive car. Sounds great. And it is all controlled by a computer.
Tesla Motorsí $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the worldís vehicles will be plug-ins.
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