The crux of the current electric car struggle is the debate that the silent, tailpipe-free genre needs to be able to meet all the same measures as internal combustion engine vehicles. For some, EVs aren’t worth taking seriously until they can be refilled in the same period of time, cost the same, and travel the same distances between refills.
On that last point, though, it seems that BMW doesn’t agree. Speaking to Australian outlet WhichCar, David Ferrufino, project lead for the upcoming BMW i4, says that the goal of making electric cars that can travel as far as petrol or diesel cars is misplaced due to the progress with public charging networks worldwide.
“One thousand kilometers of range is not a target we have with our fully-electric cars. We are aiming for 600 kilometers [of driving range] for our fully-electric cars, and 100 kilometers with our plug-in hybrids in everyday driving,” he said.
“For example, we don’t think a range of 600 kilometres will be suitable for a BMW i3 as an urban car, but when it comes to the BMW iX or i4, we think that around 600 kilometres is a very customer-friendly solution.
“We not only have the advancements in battery technology, we also have the public charging network, which is growing rapidly. Going cross-country in Europe from Norway to Italy is already a joyful experience when you do it in an electric car.”
For reference, 600km is theoretically enough range to travel from Auckland to Taupo and back on a single charge. Of course, electric vehicle range is heavily dependent on driving manners, efficiency, and the character of the road. Hence why most electric cars rarely meet their posted range capabilities.
Nevertheless, a 600km range isn’t worlds away from what most internal combustion vehicles do to a tank. Most are typically good for approximately 800km per refill of dinosaur juice. Ferrufino’s i4, for the record, can do up to 590km of driving per charge, as per BMW’s claims.
These words give BMW something of an ‘out’ when it comes to the current range wars taking place between EV specialist brands like Tesla and newcomers Lucid Air. The latter confirmed earlier this week that their Lucid Air Dream has an 837km range as rated and verified by the EPA.
If others follow Lucid Air’s lead, BMW may have to change their tune.