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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 foxalopex on 7/22/2013 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
BMW specifically stated that the engine is meant to be used in emergencies to get to the next outlet and NOT for long distance travel so unfortunately it cannot be used on continuous long trips.

I suspect I know why, a typical car needs around 20 hp to cruise on the highway but this won't help you in passing / acceleration and hills. Cars like the Volt fall back on the battery pack to provide assistance. The Volt even has a special mountain mode that reserves half the battery for such use. I doubt the gas engine will be efficient in the i3 because it is in series only. There are serious losses in converting power to electricity and then back into motion. This is why the Volt at times can directly drive the wheels using the gas engine and electrical motor in parallel. It's simply more efficient. I suspect in the i3 since it is an "emergency" folks won't care so much about mpg.

To work as an indefinite range extender BMW probably needs a bigger gas engine with a bigger gas tank. (2 gallons is too small) but that would've added weight which probably would affected 0-60 and agility. If you compare the Volt and i3, basically the i3 is more agile and speedy while the Volt can drive in more situations than the i3 can. I believe this is the trade-off between the two.


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