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BMW i3, Now Available With Car-Sharing for the Range-Conscious

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BMW X5 Access, Available with BMW i3 Purchase
BMW X5 Access, Available with BMW i3 Purchase

At the end of July, the new BMW i3 was revealed, a great compact electric vehicle with about 100mi range and a recharge time as low as three hours.

As electric vehicles start to become more a part of the public conscience, one would think that people would catch on to the fact that there are a couple of limitations that aren’t really limitations. Of course, we’re talking about range and recharge times, which should definitely be a part of any discussion weighing the viability of an electric vehicle. What’s odd, to me, is a new marketing tool put in place to accompany the release of the new BMW i3.

The BMW i3 is a compact electric vehicle, starting about $42,000. It has a range of about 100mi and takes about three hours to recharge. For a little more, at $45,000, you can get the BMW i3 with the range extending gasoline-powered generator. The oddity is the availability of a car-sharing program that can be added to the lease deal, allowing the use of a BMW X5 SUV if a little extra space or unlimited gasoline range is required for a long trip.

For an extra fee, per month or per year, BMW will throw in the use of the BMW X5 for a few weeks per year if the BMW i3 ever needs it. In my mind, the oddity is that BMW i3 clients have a choice of the model with, or without, the range extender. Additionally, how often will a BMW i3 owner need the extra space or range of the BMW X5? It seems to me that it’d be much cheaper to just rent a conventional vehicle for the few times that its actually required.

What do you think? Is it madness, or is there some subtle BMW thought process that I’m missing?

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