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“No AM Radio — But Why?”

Mysterious disappearance of AM radio

Radio World readers knew that BMW would omit AM radio from a few car models; now we hear how this plays out for one electric car reviewer.

“Perhaps AM radio is now simply a relic of the past that drivers can do without — rather like CD players?” wonders author John Voelker on the website Green Car Reports.

He calls the BMW i3 “a tour de force of advanced engineering — and the most energy-efficient car sold in the U.S. this year.” But he wants to know why it doesn’t include AM reception, adding that he’s a devotee of New York’s WINS(AM) and its traffic updates “every 10 minutes on the ones.”

He was told by a BMW spokeswoman that AM is not offered “due to negative performance influences of the electromagnetic interference of the electric drivetrain … Electric motors cause interference on AM which is why BMW decided to remove this option.”

He found all this puzzling, commenting that “virtually every other electric or hybrid car on the market manages to include AM radio without trouble” and speculates that “it could have something to do with the CFRP body shell. … Even stranger, it turns out the BMW i3 does have AM radio built in — but BMW has disabled it.”

It’s also insightful to read the comments from readers, which range from deep concern to virtual shoulder shrugs. Read the article.

BMW Won’t Revisit AM for Electric Models (Sept. 2014)