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BMW Begin Sales Of The Electric i3

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  BMW i3

BMW Begin Sales Of The Electric i3

Geoff Maxted
October 15, 2013

BMW i3
DriveWrite is yet to sample the delights of BMW’s baby electric car, the i3 ut initial reports are positive. It is certainly a good looking car that perhaps looks taller than it really is because of the 19-inch wheels fitted with low rolling resistance 155/40 profile tyres. BMW have stuck with their tradition in that this is a rear-wheel drive car. Having driven the excellent front-wheel drive Renault Zoë recently, it will be interesting to see how they compare in the fullness of time.

There’s a lot at stake for the company as the investment in this futuristic car has soaked up a cool two billion Euros if reports are to be believed, as the car was developed from scratch. BMW are bullish though and are considering a production increase for the i3 electric car after early demand for the model exceeded the automaker's expectations. Customers have reserved more than 8,000 of the battery-powered i3 even before the car goes on sale in Europe next month, and the company expects to sell more than ten thousand i3’s next year and will adjust capacity according to demand.

BMW's initial success is a good sign for the automotive industry as a whole. While manufacturers are offering many new electric cars, they have struggled with efforts to gain traction with alternative-drive vehicles amid consumer concern that EV systems offer only limited distance before recharging is needed.

They are also costly, despite grants.

Well, we’re about to find out if it generates a spark with the public. The i3 will go on sale in Germany on 16th November. It will then be rolled out in the USA, China and Japan in the first half of next year. The i3 will cost 34,950 euros (£29620) in Germany and $41,350 (£25947) in the United States. Interesting to compare those two figures.

The i3 is the first car for BMW's i sub-brand. The i8 hybrid supercar will go on sale next year allegedly and more models are on the way. BMW has trademarked ‘i’ right the way through from 1 to 9 just to be on the safe side.

The rollout of the i3 will go ahead as planned next month and won't be impacted by issues including the problems bonding carbon-fibre components for the car which led to a 10-day production halt. With the i3, BMW are joining Renault and Nissan in making the assumption that electric cars will win wider consumer acceptance despite their high price and limited range compared with vehicles powered by internal combustion engines or plug-in hybrids. That really is a difficult one to call.

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