Skip to content

BMW Unveils Its First Electric Car

July 29, 2013

Electric BMW

By Paul Thomson :: 10:36 PM

BMW today took the wraps off its first electric vehicle, the i3, and the company’s Chief Executive, Norbert Reithofer, stated that the automaker will need to increase sales of battery and plug-in electric vehicles sharply in the next 10 to 12 years to comply with regulatory obligations.

The i3 will hit U.S. markets next year, with a price tag of just over $41,000. Customers who want the flexibility of a gasoline motor along with the all-electric vehicle can add an optional range-extending fossil fuel burner that pushes the cost up to around $45,000.

BMW’s new model will compete in the U.S. with offerings from Tesla Motors. The U.S. carmaker’s Model S luxury sedan carries a much heftier price tag of nearly $70,000 before tax incentives are calculated. However, the i3 is much smaller than the Model S, and won’t compete on a model-to-model basis, although Tesla is said to be readying other models for the U.S. market.

For direct comparisons, BMW’s i3 will provide between 80 to 100 miles of driving between charges.The electric Fiat 500e, which starts at $32,600, has an 87 mile range, and Nissan’s Leaf, priced at just under $30,000, has a 75 mile range.