BMW officially unveiled its new electric car today, and it is already working to cure potential owners of the range anxiety that comes with vehicles that run on batteries, not gasoline.
The German automaker is pushing the i3 as an urban vehicle, with a range of 80 to 100 miles. That’s more than enough for the majority of commuters, and BMW points out that the average distance driven daily tops out at 40 miles.
But $41,350 is a lot of money for a car that’s only useful in the city, and the 100-mile range is not much better than that of new Chevy Spark EV, which starts at $27,495 (the top version of the Tesla Model S can go 300 miles, but will cost you $94,900).
For those who want to go farther in the i3, there are two ways to do it. The vehicle comes with an optional range-extender, a two-cylinder gasoline engine that works like a generator for the battery. It can’t power the car itself, but it can bring the range up to about 186 miles, a significant improvement.
And for those who want to take a road trip? BMW has a second solution: Drive a different car.
Through the “Add-on Mobility” plan, i3 owners have “flexible access” to gas-powered BMW vehicles, including the X3 SUV, “with a specific amount of usage days.”
BMW isn’t the first to offer a rental program. Owners of the electric Fiat 500e get 12 free days of rentals from Enterprise every year, for when they want to take a road trip.
Depending on pricing (which has not been announced), the idea of having access to a BMW designed for long-distance driving is a good one. The i3 may prove to be an excellent car for day-to-day driving, and the “Add-on Mobility” will make it easier for city dwellers to get over their range anxiety and commit.
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.