It’s not the first time an alternative i8 powertrain has been mooted – the BMW concept car that previewed the i8 was a diesel hybrid, petrolhead rumours have suggested that the i8’s batteries might be ditched entirely to make way for a V6 or V8, while BMW itself has chopped and stretched the i8 to squeeze in an experimental hydrogen fuel-cell system (pictured).
According to reports, which first seemed to surface in Australia, BMW plans to exploit its fuel-cell i8 design to build a BEV edition.
As well as altered exterior bodywork the hydrogen i8 featured a wider centre tunnel and other modifications to make room for the large tanks required to carry around 4kg of hydrogen gas compressed to 700 bar, plus a rear-mounted fuel cell stack.
The experimental i8 was built five years ago and tested for three years but was never intended to become a roadgoing product.
Now the hydrogen car’s more spacious chassis might play host to the equivalent of two battery packs from BMW’s i3 electric car – the recently upgraded 33kWh variety to boot. And perhaps even a little more. That would give the i8 sufficient reserves to cover about 250 miles and of course to challenge Tesla, which offers battery packs rated at between 60kWh and 90kWh.