A Ferrari-owning presenter from the world's most famous car show is buying an electric car. To be fair, it's just the one you'd expect: James May, who famously also owns a little Fiat Panda, is buying one of BMW's environmentally friendly, planet-saving recycled i3 runabouts.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on the You & Yours consumer affairs programme, May said that he wants to be a part of the electric car "experiment" going on the world over at the moment. There are some great insights into the Top Gear presenter's thought process throughout the episode — Transport Evolved picked out the juiciest bits.
“In terms of technology, the electric car works perfectly well,” May told the panel when discussing BBC reporter Samantha Fenwick's abortive long-distance trip in a Nissan LEAF. “The problem is still electricity, the difficulty in charging, the difficulty in storing it. You do still have to think ahead.”
James May also has another car that he says he'll use for long-distance trips, to avoid the BMW i3's 190km electric maximum range — his Ferrari 458 Italia. That sports car is a lot more liberal than the i3 in its attitude to burning fossil fuels, but there's little doubt that it's a good lot more fun while doing so.
By all accounts, the BMW i3 is an impressive little vehicle. It's released in Australia in November, with the all-electric version costing $63,990 and the range-extender step-up model, as selected by May, commanding a further $6000 premium. [BBC Radio 4]