As gearheads get uneasy over increasing numbers of electric and hybrid vehicles hitting the streets, BMW has been working hard on developing two of the most exciting vehicles of any kind we'll see in the next few years.

Those cars are the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, and the BMW i3 electric city car, unveiled in concept form last year.

While the i8 will be getting sports car fans hot under the collar, the all-electric i3 may be the most significant, and it's this car that BMW is previewing with a new app, as seen on the BMW i Facebook page.

The app previews levels of smartphone-car integration way beyond anything we've seen so far. Charging status and range can be displayed, as with many current electric car apps, but you can also program routes into the car and when you'll be driving them - a bit like an electronic route diary.

A full route planner even lets you include walking and public transport times into your journey, so you'll know exactly when to set off to ensure you reach your destination on time.

You can also pre-set charging times, to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates at off-peak times.

Though not available just yet, the app appears to have been designed for the Apple iOS platform, but we expect it will hit other platforms too before the car is launched in 2013.