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Silverstone Fleet Show 2014: BMW i3 joins electrifying line-up

The i3 is the first of BMW’s new plug-in vehicle sub-brand, and is available in two versions: the pure electric version which covers a typical 80-100 miles on a single charge, and a range-extended version that uses a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine to extend the range to around 180 miles on one tank of fuel.

The electric version costs £25,680 and the range-extended model £28,830, and BMW expects the latter to be more popular at launch, but with sales swinging back towards the pure EV as drivers get used to the technology.

The car’s construction incorporates plastic body panels on a carbon fibre-reinforced polymer bodyshell, all sat on an aluminium chassis, to keep its weight down, while the battery, which sits under the boot floor, drives 170bhp to the rear wheels.

This allows the BMW i3 to sprint from zero to 37mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds, electrifying performance for an EV!

Thanks to its electric power and zero CO2 emissions, the BMW i3 also attracts zero payments in BiK, National Insurance contribution, Road Fund Licence and Congestion Charge, making it a compelling fleet proposition.

Matt Bristow, general manager, corporate sales at BMW Group UK, said: ‘This year’s Fleet Show will be a unique and exciting one for BMW, with the i3 taking centre stage. Guests will not only be able to find out more about the BMW i range, but will also have the opportunity to experience this revolutionary new car for themselves.’

The BMW i3 is one of a number of new electric-powered and hybrid vehicles that will be available for driving at Silverstone this year.

A host of manufacturers, including Nissan, Vauxhall, Citroën, Renault, Infiniti, Volvo, Peugeot, Lexus, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, are expected to have their latest low-emission and EV offerings at the event on display and available for test driving. 

At the same time, electric charging companies, including ABB and Charging Solutions, will also be exhibiting at the Show to allow fleet decision-makers to get a complete overview of the infrastructure available.

‘We are delighted that BMW is showcasing its exciting i3 at this year’s Fleet Show at Silverstone, and providing fleet decision makers with the chance to experience it for themselves firsthand. The electromobility movement is gaining impetus and Silverstone will be the ideal place to catch up on the very latest new models from a whole host of motor manufacturers,’ said Jerry Ramsdale, Show organiser and publisher of Fleet World.

This year the organisers have split the Grand Prix circuit in two, using the National Circuit for faster laps, and the International Circuit for road speed drives. There is also an off-road circuit for those wishing to try one of the many 4x4s on offer.

At the same time, the infield Stowe Circuit will become an eco-driving hub for those manufacturers with strong low-CO2 sub-brands. This will allow them to not only prove the fuel efficiency of their cars, but also to demonstrate how to drive them in the most economical fashion.

A team of eco-driving experts will also be available on the day to help fleet managers understand how they can achieve, or even exceed, the published fuel consumption figures for popular fleet cars.

This year’s Fleet Show at Silverstone really will offer something for everyone. As well as the test driving element, the Show will again feature an indoor exhibition in halls 1-3 of the Silverstone Wing, with up to 60 exhibitors demonstrating some of the latest developments, products and services in the fleet arena.

The Show also will pioneer an exciting new seminar and training format designed to provide practical hands-on advice and guidance across a range of fleet management disciplines.

Each session will be presented by a respected fleet manager whose own experience in their chosen subject area will provide delegates with a case-study style learning experience.

For more details of the Fleet World Fleet Show 2014 please phone 01727 739160, visit www.thefleetshow.co.uk or click here to register: www.thefleetshow.co.uk/visiting

Natalie Middleton

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