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Another Electric Vehicle (But It’s Not for the Masses)

Can we please have more EVs that are cool AND affordable?

by
Becky Graebner

Bio

September 14, 2013 - 9:00 am
BMW-i8

A new EV for the super-car stable

Four months ago, I wrote a piece about the reemergence of electric car maker Detroit Electric. In that short piece, I mentioned that the electric car market is “super-saturated” with expensive, super cars.

While the American dream supports Detroit Electric’s pursuit of happiness (and success), I am not 100% sold on what D.E.’s niche will be…  what will make them stand out compared to its competition? The start-up EVs tend to be super-cars on a veggie diet… or electric sports cars.  Tesla has its sporty Model S and now we have, essentially, an electric Lotus Elise in the Detroit Electric SP.01. Keep in mind, buyers also have another luxury option in the electric BMW ActiveE.

The hybrid super-car competitor for Tesla and Detroit Electric, Fisker, is currently exploring bankruptcy and Tesla just made a profit (after 10 years). Do we really need another electric sports car?  It sounds like something isn’t working… and it think it’s the price-tag.

BMW revealed its newest, brightest EV at the Frankfurt auto show last week.  The new EV on the block?  ANOTHER EV super-car.  All I can do is shake my head.

Some stats on this new BMW:

Name: BMW i8 Plug-in

Tops speed in electric-motor mode: 75 mph

Mileage (Electric): 22 miles

Battery: 5 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack

Mileage (Gas): 94 mpg

Price tag: $135,925

What else could you buy for this money? According to The Detroit Bureau, almost three Chevrolet Volts…

Bottom line: The new BMW is really cool. It has some amazing horsepower (362hp!) and is luxurious inside and out, but it’s just way too expensive. The creme de la creme of the population has a fleet of EVs to choose from — how about the middle class?!

Heavy-hitter Tesla has heard the complaints and is attempting to bring down its prices so that more consumers can purchase their vehicles. Good plan. I have said this so many times that I am starting to annoy myself: If EVs are actually going to be the car of the future, there need to more affordable options for consumers. Please.  No more super-cars (unless they are under $40k).

Becky Graebner moved to the east coast from Wisconsin in 2011. She is still a rabid Badger and Packer fan, although she does support the Caps in hockey. She enjoys Formula 1 and Indycar. She likes the eastern seaboard but does miss track days with friends and family at Elkhart Lake and the Milwaukee Mile. Her favorite drivers are Kenny Brack and Robby Gordon.

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