BMW i3: economic and brimming with appeal.
BMW i3: economic and brimming with appeal.

Drive up to 160km for three bucks in the new BMW i3

ONE overnight charge will cost you about $3 and provide a range of 130-160km.

The future is about to arrive in the premium motoring space and already there are four Queensland drivers willing to part with between $60-70,000 for the new electric BMW i3.

It can be plugged into a normal household powerpoint and a full charge takes about 11 hours. Or you can opt for a special wall plug which takes about half that time, or use a public station which can take 25 minutes with a rapid recharge.

Those who want a larger range can opt for a supplementary two-cylinder scooter engine which keeps battery topped up and extends its distance to 240-300km.

While we've seen electric cars before in Australia, including the Holden Volt, Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, this is the first offering that was built from the ground up rather than using existing architecture.

Although the i3 has brand presence with customers who have deep pockets.

And this four-door, four-seater is brimming with green appeal. Under the funky skin is lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic, interior trim derived from a cotton plant, interior and exterior finishes which use 25% of recycled plastic and even the key fob is partly made of castor oil bean.

The BMW i3 is also no slouch in performance terms. It can achieve 0-100kmh in 7.2 seconds…which is quicker than many petrol and diesel powered cars.

BMW's Scott Croaker said the response had been "far beyond expectation" and the greatest hurdle may be supply constraints when vehicles start to arrive in quarter three or four.

Queensland's only "i" dealer, has received more than 90 expressions of interest.

There is also a buzz around the circa-$300,000 i8, a two-door hybrid that will also arrive this year and can hammer from standstill to 100kmh in less than five seconds. Three orders have already been made in the Sunshine State.

BMW i3.
Bottom line: Between $60-70,000.
Weight: 1195kg (1315 kg for the REx).
Electric motor: Generates 125 kW and a maximum torque of 250 Nm from rest
Power consumption: 0.13 kilowatt hours per kilometre.
Warranty: Three-year unlimited kilometres, battery has an eight-year 100,000km warranty.

River St duplication hits milestone

Premium Content River St duplication hits milestone

On Monday, council will lay asphalt pavement to the westbound lane between Quays...

Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Premium Content Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Prince Philip’s rather unconventional romance blossomed into love

Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Premium Content Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Prince Philip visited Australia an astonishing 35 times.