The automotive world has been buzzing of late about BMW‘s upcoming i3 electric car having an optional range extending gas-powered motorcycle engine. As our sister site Autoguide.com reports, the i3 will be available with an optional two-cylinder BMW motorcycle engine to power a generator which can recharge the electric motor and extend the vehicle’s range to 250 miles compared to a range of 60-90 miles relying just on the battery.
It turns out that two-cylinder motorcycle engine will actually be provided to BMW by Taiwanese manufacturer Kymco. This should be no real surprise as Kymco supplies several engines for the smaller-displacement BMW motorcycles including the engine for the single-cylinder G450X and the parallel-Twin engine used in the BMW C650GT and C600 Sport maxi-scooters.
This isn’t to say the i3′s range extender isn’t actually a BMW engine. Kymco produces the engines but BMW provided the tooling, specifications, and engineering. The BMW-Kymco partnership may not stop there however. According to WantChinaTimes, Kymco will supply a 400cc engine for another BMW scooter to slot in under the two 647cc C models.
On the subject of BMW scooters, the BMW C-Evolution electric scooter prototype also shares some technology with the i3, running on the same lithium-ion batteries while its TFT display is based on the screen used in the i3.