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The i3 went on sale on Friday

With Mercedes-Benz breathing down its neck with the more “modestly” styled B-Class Electric Drive runabout, BMW’s i3 electric car is now available for sale in the United States. The little four-seater officially went on sale this past Friday, with the first U.S. buyer taking delivery of his vehicle at a Boston, MA dealership.
 
“Today marks a big day at BMW of North America - What started out as a dream for an innovative sustainable vehicle under the BMW i brand can now be found on streets across the U.S.,” proclaimed BMW of North America President and CEO Ludwig Willisch.
 

Hundreds of i3s waiting at Port Jersey Vehicle Distribution Center. Could those colors BE any more drab?

The BMW i3 is powered by a 170 hp (184 lb-ft) electric motor that is fed by a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (the battery pack has an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty). BMW says that the vehicle can deliver between 80 to 100 miles of range on a full charge. However, Autoblog Green received word from BMW that the official EPA range for the i3 is on the lower end of that scale: 81 miles. It's also rated for 124 MPGe.
 
For those that consider 81 miles insufficient, BMW will also offer a range extender version of the i3 that adds a tiny 37hp gasoline engine to help recharge the battery pack. In this configuration, the range of the vehicle should nearly double (the fuel tank only holds 1.9 gallons of gasoline).

 
The 2,634-lb i3 can dash to 60 mph in a respectable 7 seconds, while its 2,899-lb range extender counterpart takes nearly a second longer to reach the same speed (7.9 seconds).
 
One of the more interesting peculiarities about the i3 that was recently discovered by BMW Blog on a test drive is that the front trunk or “frunk” of the i3 is inexplicably not waterproof. We’re scratching our heads on this one, but BMW will gladly sell you an “accessory bag” to keep the contents store in the frunk dry.

 
The BMW i3 has a base MSRP of $41,350 while the ranger extender model is a few thousand dollars more expensive at $45,200 and will launch in a few weeks. Both qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit (along with various state credits/rebates depending on where you live).

Sources: BMW USA, Autoblog Green, BMW Blog





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