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Official debut will be July 29

BMW has announced the official pricing for its first electric vehicle. The BMW i3 will have a starting price $41,350 in the U.S. That makes BMWs little electric car nearly 30% more expensive than a base 3-Series sedan. However, this news shouldn’t come as a shock since BMW hinted in May that the price of the vehicle would be around $40,000.

The starting price for the i3 in Germany will be €34,950, which works out to about $46,000. The car will be available in Germany starting in November, with U.S. availability early next year. The official debut for the i3 will be on July 29 at events held simultaneously in New York, London, and Beijing.

Bloomberg reports that BMW has invested $600 million in production facilities for the electric car. Among the facilities built specifically for this car are new factory in Washington State to make carbon fiber for the vehicle's passenger cell.
 
BMW also plans an interesting method of selling the electric vehicle. The automaker plans to sell the car on the internet, via sales people that visit customers at their homes, and through some select BMW dealers.


BMW i3 Prototype

The people at Autoblog recently drove the 2014 i3 for the first time at an autocross event in Germany. It appears that this will be a different sort of driving pleasure than most BMW enthusiasts are used to, with complaints of lots of body roll. The little car uses a 168 hp electric motor (184 lb-ft of torque) combined with a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and BMW promises 124 miles per charge when driven in Eco Pro+ plus mode.

One complaint Autoblog had about the vehicle is that when closing the front doors the structure the vehicle sounded plastic-like and cheap, whereas BMWs are known for being premium automobiles.

Sources: Business Week, Autoblog



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By SublimeSimplicity on 7/22/2013 10:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
This car is a change in just about every respect to what BMW currently does. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic body, electric drivetrain, geared completely towards fuel efficiency (over performance and looks). For that reason, the designer was probably put in a corner and told to work around the engineer's whims instead of the other way around. On top of that, the designer is going to take all the heat for the end result.

I anticipate the next revision will look a lot better, since the engineering aspects will be better understood going in.




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