BMW launches it's i3 Electric Car

Front View Of BMW i3 Electric Car

Back View Of BMW i3 Electric Car

The German luxury carmaker BMW has presented its first mass-production i3 electric hatchback. The Munich-based company underscored the seriousness of its long-term ambitions regarding mobility in Germany and abroad.

The i3 is a funky-looking four-seater that Wired is calling “the most innovative thing to come out of Munich in a decade.”

The i3 comes after an estimated $2.7 billion (2 billion euros) investment program, with the German carmaker hoping the resources pumped into research and development will eventually pay off.

The i3 is more than just a car. It's a revolutionary step towards sustainable mobility. It is purpose-built around an electric power train to serve the needs of our megacity customers," said Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, at the world premiere in New York on Monday.

The fact that a typical electric vehicle (EV) can only be driven 75 miles to 80 miles (120 km to 130 km) before requiring a recharge — which takes up a lot more time than a gas-station pit stop — is a deal breaker for many consumers. Using electric power, the BMW i3 can be driven out 80 miles (130 km), perhaps 100 miles (160 km). That’s fine for many commuters, but insufficient for longer journeys.

Extending the driving range of the i3 is as simple as purchasing the optional two-cylinder, 34-horsepower rear engine that runs on gasoline — and that basically doubles the vehicle’s range. BMW is also expected to give i3 owners access to gas-powered loaner cars during the days when they need a vehicle with longer driving range — on, say, a weekend road trip.

BMW i3 Electric Car's interiors

BMW i3 Electric Car's interiors

One of the most common arguments against EVs is that the math doesn’t add up: whatever money you’d save on gas is negated by the premium you pay compared with a traditional gas-powered car. Prices have already dropped significantly on electric cars, with abundant cheap lease deals and thousands of dollars slashed off the sticker prices of the Ford Focus EV, Nissan Leaf and others.

The i3 also leverages the latest mobile technology to enhance functionality both in and out of the car. An Apple cable connects iPhone owners with apps and phone features. The BMW i Remote smartphone app offers functions like battery monitoring, car location, and door locking and unlocking.

The i3 comes with an i Remote smartphone app

In the U.S., the BMW i3 will start at US$41,350 or US$45,200 for the version with the backup gasoline engine, before factoring in federal and state rebates and tax incentives. That’s not cheap, but it’s less expensive than what many anticipated for an electric-powered BMW. It’s also a lot less pricey than the Tesla Model S, the premium that has already set the standard for electric cars — and that starts at around US$70,000.


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Write by: RC - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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