BMW is taking a proactive approach to reducing range anxiety for buyers of its i models with a new loaner program. The BMW loaner program will provide all buyers of its i3 electric car with a free gasoline loaner car for those longer trips. While the company is confident that the i3 will give drivers what they seek for 90 percent of their trips, they also know that an annual road trip could sway purchases. A company propelled forward by creativity, this is reminiscent of the BMW online marketing endeavors for the i-brand.
That is where the free gasoline loaner car comes into play. BMW i3 owners need only pick up their loaner car for those few times they need to cover more road than the battery will allow. The i3 packs a 180-horsepower electric motor paired with a lithium-ion battery pack providing an overall range of around 80-100 miles per charge. The range is dependent on weather conditions and driving habits.
The BMW loaner program will be bundled into the cost of the i3, though exact restrictions and limits have not been announced. The option is estimated to add an additional $4,000 onto the price of the BMW i3, a sum buyers would have to compare to the cost of a standard rental car when needed.
There may be a BMW with a diminutive 2-cylinder range-extended gas engine emerging to cater to those unable to conquer range anxiety at this point. Hybrid technology is still in its infancy, and will take more time to resonate before buyers are completely confident. In the meantime, companies with alternate powertrains appear to be getting creative in their endeavors to attract new buyers.
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