BMW engineers are working on a way to use the battery in the i3 as an external power source, as part of a plan to make the car an 'electricity dispenser'.
In a video dubbed 'The Simple Life', a BMW i3 – outfitted with chunky tyres and a roof rack, no less – heads through the Swiss hills, with a load of cheese in the back.
The driver pulls up at an idyllic spot and plugs his equipment into the boot of the car using a conventional power point, which suggests BMW will allow owners to harness the power of their batteries for purposes other than driving in future.
Manufacturers of electric vehicles have talked about this idea for a while, and Nissan has actually something similar into practice as part of a vehicle-to-grid trial in the UK. Leaf owners on the V2G trial are able to charge their cars during cheaper, off-peak periods and then power their home or office with the energy during more expensive periods.
Alternatively, they can feed to energy back into the UK National Grid as a way of recuperating a bit of their energy bill. Similar trials, also involving Nissan, have taken place in Denmark.
This idea from BMW is smaller in scale, but could be useful for owners who take their cars camping. Or for Swiss cheese farmers, keen to power their stalls among the green, rolling hills. You know, normal stuff.
There's no word on when the 'Energy Dispenser' will be available in BMW vehicles, however.