BMW will offer extras with new electric i3 to attract buyers

BMW i3 Concept BMW joins what will likely become common practice among carmakers hoping to entice more people to buy EVs by offering some extra amenities with its new i3 electric-car.

In addition to the typical services offered with a new car, the i3 will include access to fuel-powered models and the option of having BMW install at-home fast-charging systems for the i3, according to Automotive News.

The BMW i3, which will make its official production debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, also will include a navigation feature capable of detecting the nearest public charging station during trips, reports. The gas-powered vehicle loans will be offered to i3 owners through their dealer for trips requiring a longer driving range.

BMW_i3_Concept_Coupe_interiorThe extra perks, which will also be offered on the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car,  follow a practice now being adopted by a number of carmakers concerned about meeting sales expectations for EVS.

According to the AN report, in Europe, Nissan sold 5,210 Leafs, according to figures from JATO Dynamics, almost 4,000 below its target of 9,000.  In the U.S., the Leaf didn’t even reach even half of its sales target of 20,000 cars.

Fiat, which is launching its all-electric 500e, will offer gas-powered loaner vehicles as well for weekends and extended road trips to attract more buyers to its EV, which has a range of 87 miles of combined city/highway driving.  The total amount of time allocated for a gas-powered vehicle loan, offered in partnership with Enterprise, is 12 days annually, which can be used all at once or one day a month.

The Automotive News report doesn’t note the amount of time i3 and i8 owners will be allowed to use gas powered models. 


Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.

This vintage Ford Bronco off-roader has a modern electric powertrain

Zero Labs took a classic Ford Bronco and replaced its gasoline engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. So you get the style and off-road capability of a Bronco, but with zero emissions.

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.