It may not look like it, but the new BMW i3 is one of the coolest cars you can buy: cooler even than the latest super car from Ferrari or Lamborghini. Why? Because it's electric, so everyone will know you're environmentally conscious. It's also a really clever piece of engineering, so everyone will know you're a smart, tech-savvy early-adopter. And unlike the Tesla Model S, the other hot electric car of the moment, it has bold, edgy styling and a badge from an established, desirable, premium German brand. BMW isn't going to struggle to sell these.
In most markets, buyers are still concerned about the limited distances some electric cars can drive before a lengthy recharging session. Tesla gets around this by asking a much higher price for its cars, and giving them a much bigger battery. In a city market like Hong Kong, range just isn't an issue. But if you really think that you're going to drive more than around 150km (BMW claims more) before needing to charge your i3 overnight, BMW has a cheaper solution than Tesla's vast battery. You can specify your i3 with a 'range extender': a hyper-efficient two-cylinder petrol engine which never actually drives the wheels, but is used as a generator to charge the battery on the move, and give you well over 250km of real-world range.
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