Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BMW's i3 electric car priced at £25,680

First all-electric outing for German manufacturer aimed at second car purchasers in urban markets
BMW's hotly anticipated i3 electric car will start at £25,680 on the road, putting it in the same price bracket as the market-leading Nissan LEAF, the German automaker confirmed yesterday.
The price includes a £5,000 plug-in grant, which the government has yet to confirm will apply to the four-person coupe when it goes on sale in the UK in November. Customers in Europe will face a ticker price of €34,950 (around £39,000), before local subsidies are taken into account.
UK customers can also lease the i3 for £369 per month over 36 months, subject to a deposit of £2,995 and a limit of 24,000 miles.
BMW has also said customers will be able to customise their i3s, which includes an option to install a BMW i Wallbox charger at home. The chargers start at around £1,200, can refill the battery from empty to 80 per cent in three hours, and can be fuelled by green electricity, resulting in zero-emissions driving.
The i3 offers a range of 80-100 miles on a single charge, while using carbon fibre and reinforced plastics alongside a lightweight aluminium chassis and parts to trim weight and battery costs.
In a statement issued yesterday, BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said: "The BMW i3 heralds the dawn of a new era for individual mobility and for the BMW Group. With this leading-edge vehicle and compelling price, we will provide customers with an attractive offer for electromobility."
BMW created the discrete 'i' sub-brand to market electric vehicles and is counting on the i3 and the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, due to hit dealerships early next year, to lend it an edge.
Last week, Robertson told reporters that BMW is targeting second car buyers in urban regions of the world's main car markets and is looking to become a "significant player" in the worldwide electric vehicle market.
Ostensibly, the i3 offers a more luxurious option than most electric cars on the market, but, with price remaining an obstacle to large-scale take-up of the technology, it will face stiff competition from the Nissan LEAF, retailing at between £20,990 and £25,490, and Renault's Zoe, which starts at £13,995 plus battery leasing of at least £70 per month. Meanwhile, arch-rival Mercedes is set to launch an electric version of its B-Class in spring 2014.
Both the LEAF and the Zoe offer similar ranges to the i3, although a subsequent version is set to feature a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine to maintain the battery charge, which can extend journeys to 180 miles on a single tank. BMW said the price of the hybrid model will be released at a later date.