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BMW announces support package for electric vehicle range

Speaking at the opening of the world’s first BMW i showroom on Park Lane in London this week, Ian Robertson, member of the board of management for sales and marketing at BMW AG, said the 360° Electric package would be rolled out progressively across all markets. Final discussions with fleets will address how it can be tailored to customers with their own service and breakdown arrangements.

Alleviating range concerns, 360° Electric includes mobile roadside charging and intelligent satellite navigation which plans the most efficient routes and shows charging point locations, supported by a smartphone application. For longer trips, drivers will be given access to conventionally-powered BMW models as needed, under the carmaker’s DriveNow partnership with Sixt.

BMW will also offer a home charging Wallbox. Named in line with its infotainment systems, this will be available in Business or Professional versions, with the latter adding smart charging at up to three times the speed of a standard outlet. Both will be installed by BMW’s as yet unnamed utility company partner, and used with green energy tariffs. The Wallbox will include access to public charging infrastructure.

‘It’s a holistic approach, and there are many features that will come alongside this that have been developed over the last 12 months,’ Robertson said.

BMW’s i brand launches with the i3 electric lower-medium size hatchback in late 2013, followed by the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar in 2014. Bespoke i dealers will be rolled out worldwide, initially focused on large urban areas.

The i8’s high performance, three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine will be manufactured at the carmaker’s Hams Hall factory, near Birmingham, Robertson told delegates at the SMMT International Automobile Summit, also held this week.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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