BMW i3 electric car with two cylinder motorcycle engine

Officials at BMW have confirmed that their new i3 battery powered supermini will be launched with an option of range extender, which will have a two cylinder motorcycle engine, that will increase total range to 250 miles.

BMW i3 electric car with two cylinder motorcycle engineThe new BMW i3 goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013, with an option for range extending motorcycle engine. The regular i3 without the range extender, comes with an electric engine offering 168 hp and 250 Nm torque.

It also possesses a lithium ion battery pack which combines to offer 60 to 90 miles of cruising range. The two cylinder motorcycle engine acts like a generator charging the batteries of the BMW i3 on the go, due to which the driving range is expected to be increased to around 250 miles (402 kms) on a single tank of fuel. This is a marked improvement over the standard i3 which can travel only upto 90 miles (145 kms). The motorcycle engine will be mounted on the trunk of the i3 and will not transmit mechanical power to its wheels.

AutoNews reports speaking about the kind of bookings they expect to receive for this new variant of i3, Herbert Diess, R&D Head, BMW, said, the range extender option could demand over 50% of i3 sales, initially, but later, when the customers realize that they dont really need the range extender, the demand will com down to about 20%.