Automotive

Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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BMW To Sell i3 Electric Car At Lower Price

BMW will sell the battery-powered i3 city car at a lower than expected base price to encourage demand for its first electric vehicle as it aims to keep rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz at bay. The i3 will sell from just 34,950Euros for the base model in Germany. In the United States, the i3 will cost from USD41,350. The i3’s price has been keenly awaited because analysts say the high price of electric vehicles has been deterring potential customers.

BMW has not given a sales target for the i3, although it aims to be “a significant player” in the market for electric vehicles which has had sales of about 150,000 cars worldwide in 2012. BMW says the i3 is the world’s first premium car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system. The car uses the industry’s first mass produced carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell mounted on an aluminum chassis. It weighs 1195kg (2634 pounds), 300kg less than other electric cars of the same size.

The i3 has a maximum range of 200km (124 miles) driven in power-saving mode and 160km (100km) in what BMW calls “comfort” mode. A variant with a two-cylinder, 650cc petrol engine to extend the i3’s range to 300km is also planned. The range-extended version will cost nearly 4,000Euros more than the regular EV.

The i3 will be unveiled this July 29 in London, New York and Beijing and will go on sale in November in Europe. BMW has invested 600 million Euros in production facilities for the car, including installing annual capacity of 40,000 units at its Leipzig, Germany, plant, and building a new factory in the United States at Moses Lake, Washington, that makes carbon fiber for the passenger cell.


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