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Early plug for SA BMW i3, i8 buyers

2014-08-29 11:28

NEW BMW 'i' CARS FOR SA: BMW wants to pre-empt any charging needs of potential local buyers of its i3 and i8 cars through the pre-installation of fast-charge stations. Image: BMW

BMW, in partnership with Schneider Electric, is being wisely proactive in arranging for the pre-installation of fast-charge stations at the homes and/or offices of potential buyers of its new i3 and i8 cars.

The i8 hybrid is expected in South Africa before the end of 2014, the i3 EV a few months later.

BMW's partnership with Schneider Electric was announced at the first southern African Xperience Efficiency conference at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Gauteng. The BMW i3 and BMW i Wallbox was showcased at the event.

PROACTIVE EV APPROACH

According to BMW: "The partnership agreement includes checking the electrical installation in customers’ homes, supplying and assembling the wall box charging point, as well as maintenance and other services for BMW i vehicles.

"This will allow future owners of a BMW i3 or i8 to hook up their vehicle safely and quickly recharge it while at home or office."

Antonio Antela Martinez, BMW SA’s director of sales and marketing, said: "Over the course of the numerous pilot tests we staged worldwide with electric vehicles we listened to our customers very carefully and will be able to offer them a ‘360° Electric’ concept when the i3 is launched locally.

"We see the professional installation of the wall box as a key factor for the successful marketing of electric vehicles. We are delighted to have Schneider Electric, one of the most internationally experienced partners in the field of electric mobility, on board to help implement our strategy."

RANGE EXTENDER ENGINE

The BMW i3's hybrid synchronous electric motor generates 125kW/250Nm, resulting in a claimed 0-100 time of 7.2sec and a range of 130-160km in, BMW claims, "everyday conditions".

SA buyers can opt for a range extender engine which "maintains the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move." That would give, BMW SA says rather equivocally "a maximum range is approximately 300km".

Would you be happy knowing your BMW can 'only' do 130km? Even for commuting? E-mail your viewto us for publication on Wheels24.

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