Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Post: A Step Forward For Electric Cars?

Recently during my spring break I have been doing a lot of mindless browsing on the internet since contributing to society is so mainstream. Even though mostly what I was browsing through involved sports and websites that remind me that I still have the humor of a 13 year old, I stumbled upon something that prompted me to write another article for Sustainabili-City. BMW recently launched a program named BMW i that is focusing on designing and producing electric vehicles in the future. After spending twenty minutes reading through their website and watching their videos, they really caught my attention.

For the most part, what I read didn’t seem vastly different from other companies that are entering the electric car market. They promise to produce cars that are sustainable in every possible aspect. They promise to invest time and money to advance current sustainable technology and discover new ways to engineer their electric vehicles. They even have sexy, well-edited videos that make me wonder why my life doesn’t look as awesome as they portray it to be. What has my attention is frankly quite simple.

They’re BMW.

Now before I go any further, I can honestly say that I barely know anything about cars. You put some form of energy in and you drive to your desired destination. You can’t explain that. But what I do know is that BMW is a widely respected company that produces cars that people want. A major problem with electric cars right now is most people don’t desire to own them. As great as the Toyota Prius is, a lot of people are turned off by it’s physical appearance. I would know since my family owns a Prius. When I drove the Prius to tennis practice my friends made fun of our car by calling it ‘a box with wheels.’ I personally don’t mind how the Prius looks, but if BMW or some other well known company made a sexy electric car that was just as good or better than what is out now, then it would be hard to disagree with my friends.

Fact is people want to drive a car that they are proud to own and be seen in. With BMW planning to enter the market, I am fairly excited to see what the future holds for electric cars. It seems pretty reasonable why when thinking about it in economic terms: if people demand something then it will be supplied. In the past, electric cars have been seen almost as a downgrade when compared with the ordinary gas powered car. It’s exciting now that BMW can prove this false as long as they carry through with their plans and provide us with something such as the i8 or the i3.

But this isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. One problem that is most likely going to happen is the price range of these new vehicles. Even though it’s great that BMW, Lexus, and Chevy are coming out with electric cars, they are more likely going to be tailored for those whom are willing to write a hefty check for their products. But as we have seen in the past, there is typically an inverse relationship between the amount of time that passes by and the price of newly introduced products. It will be interesting to follow BMW i and see what happens in the coming years. You can learn more about BMW i at

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