At the end of the BMW i3 launch on the 29th July, press and media congratulated BMW on their achievement of producing their first electric car utilising some pretty exotic materials. Coupling BMW’s signature levels of performance, build quality and stylish interiors, the BMW i3 is – on paper – an excellent vehicle for those considering an electric commuter vehicle.
That aside, the car’s failings from a sales perspective is likely to be the age old classic electric car nemesis; range. Therefore, BMW have provided us with a neat online application which visually shows exactly how far you’re likely to be able to drive, in real terms, on a map.
The premise is simple; our minds are geared to expect a vehicle to travel hundreds of miles on one fuel tank. 5 minutes at a petrol pump and you’re good to go for 400+ miles. But, how often does the average driver ever actually need that range from a single fill up? Our perception is often that we need a range in excess of 400 miles, but the reality is completely contrary.
As the screenshot below shows, the relatively minimal range of the BMW i3 at around 100 miles or less can actually cover a huge proportion of the South East of England and is therefore ample for almost every daily use. It’s worth remembering electric cars also confine to history the days of impatiently waiting in line at a crowded petrol station while the owners of vehicles left at the pump do inconceivably large amounts of shopping at the diminutive and overpriced supermarket express store…
BMW’s application is simple enough in operation, just enter your postcode or town/city and the overlay will show you visually how far the BMW i3’s range is likely to be able to take you. There are three overlay colours each showing the different driving modes available on the i3, comfort, eco pro+ and the last, an overlay for those who pay the premium for the additional range extending engine which ups the possible range by a couple hundred extra miles.
Of course, the map is an elegant way of trying to alleviate ‘range anxiety’ and so the same visual map graphic can be applied whether you have a BMW i3 or any other electric vehicle with similar range possibilities, such as the Nissan Leaf.
Link: BMW i3 Range Map