At the moment electric mobility is worldwide behind the set goals. Surely, one of the main reasons for this is that the customer thinks that he gets a lass attractive package for a more in respect of investments costs.
But why does this feeling emerge? In terms of design the currently available models are no less attractive than conventional vehicles. With the electrified vehicles you mostly even get a better product (e.g. automatic transmission, GPS etc.) in terms of the equipment and the driving characteristics. As in many cases the higher investment costs could be offset by lower operating costs, the only reason is really the perceived range limitation.
As this largely psychological aspect cannot easily be overcome, BMW offers a good solution to cope with this challenge. For its i3 BMW optionally offers a range extender, a two-cylinder, borrowed from the two-wheeler department. As this range extender increases the pure electric range (about 140 km) to about 400 km, which should be a effective argument for counteracting range anxiety. In the daily use the pure electric range should usually be enough, whereas the range extender can easily be activated in exceptional cases.
BMW is expecting that more than 50 percent of the customers will take/choose the range extender version because of the range anxiety in the beginning. In the long run the percentage of i3 with range extender however is expected to drop to about 20 %.
A similar solution had been presented by Audi with its A1 etron. Yet, it’s not obvious in which form or extend this concept will be realized. This additional option could give an essential boost to electric mobility, so the other OEMs should consider an appropriate optional offer…at least in the initial phase.
If you’re not be sure about your range requirement, just use iEV. You get a good overview of your actual needs and it also allows you to test, if the EV of your choice would match.
What do you think about giving customers the possibility to chose a range extender? Do you think this concept will be successfull?