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With i3 Electric Car, BMW Tries to Ease Range Anxiety

What if it was even more fun to drive?

BMW has bet considerable resources that the cost advantages of operating an electric car will outweigh the one big disadvantage — range. BMW says the i3, which will come to market in Europe in November and the United States next year, can travel 186 miles when equipped with an optional range extender, a motorcyclelike gasoline engine that helps maintain the charge when the car runs low. Otherwise, the car will be able to travel about half that distance, or about 93 miles, on a single charge.

The new car the company showed automobile writers on Monday at a former military airfield outside Munich had the pep and agility drivers have come to expect from BMW sedans — though not necessarily that of the Z sports cars or M series muscle cars. The i3 has some bonus features, like a quiet ride and a power recovery system that reduces the need to use the brakes since letting up on the accelerator quickly slows the car.  

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