BMW i3 is headed to the US in January 2014; priced around $35,000



UPDATE: The BMW i3 will actually be priced at $42,275 before tax credits.

The much-anticipated BMW i3 EV will arrive at U.S. dealerships in January 2014, with the hybrid i3’s following a couple months after.  The BMW i3 EV will be priced at $34,500 in the US., before tax credits, offering an affordable, electric rear-drive EV with a bit of BMW magic.

In addition to a pure-electric model, there is a $2,000 option that will include the range extending two-cylinder 600cc engine.  The engine will work only as a generator and have no direct contact with the drive axle.  That is a fairly cheap “range doubling” option.  $2,000 for twice the range is definitely worth it.  Thank you, BMW!

The full-EV version of the i3 will have a range of 125 miles on a full charge.  The electric motor will provide 168 horsepower and 184 pound-feet or torque, good for a 0-60 mph sprint in about 7 seconds, as fast (if not faster) than many comparable gas-powered cars.

The battery will be able to be charged in 3 different ways.  The main way is by a public or a personal garage charging station, though it should be pointed out that the personal garage charging station is not included in the price of the BMW i3. The second way is in Eco Pro & Eco Pro Plus modes.  These two modes add resistance to the drivetrain for a rolling type of energy recuperation, allowing the driver to recapture some lost energy.  The last way is the normal brake energy and coasting regeneration.

The electric motor is situated in the back on top of the rear axle with the battery pack under the passenger compartment.  In the hybrid version, the engine will be located with the electric motor in the back. The i3 is set to arrive in January 2014 and we are looking forward to its arrival.

For Chevy Volt money, who wouldn’t want a BMW EV?

Source: Autoblog

About the Author

After surviving the mine field that is middle school for close to a decade (teaching), I took the advice I’ve given students for years; to follow a passion. I started my own independent auto review blog in April 2011. While working a variety of jobs (5 W-2’s last year), I have come to find that I truly love cars and everything about them. I’ll drive anything with four or more wheels: economy hatchbacks, supercars, & hopefully someday a rally car! Maybe a Lancia Stratos, but I’d take a Ford Fiesta R2 as well.

Other than cars, my interests include Science Fiction, TV (I don’t have cable.), music that most people haven’t heard of (I’m not a hipster), and I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy. Sometimes my sarcasm will get in the way of the actual point that I am trying to make. It’s like a disease and I can’t stop. Can you be addicted to sarcasm? Was that sarcastic?

I live in suburban Kansas City with a wonderful woman who puts up with me starting my own auto review site, two active boys (4 yrs. & 18 mths.), and one neurotic Labrador-mutt (7yrs.), who hates the rain.

  • Bicster

    $34,500 before the credit sounds too good to be true. Surely that number is after tax credit. There’s too much bleeding edge technology in this car (CFRP, aluminum)… If the price turns out to be true, this is a $27k car or less depending on where you live; A real game-changer.

    • Juan Pelotas

      yeah; I thought the same thing. It probably won’t be long before we get a “correction”. This prices it under a Ford Focus EV. At the end of the day, BMW is a luxury brand. Let’s see; I hope to be wrong, since a price like that would put a lot of pressure on the others.

      • danwat1234

        $42,275 + $2000 for range extender

    • Jim Seko

      You’re probably right.I wouldn’t be surprised if the i3 will only be sold in California, at first, and they’re subtracting the federal tax break AND the California tax credit..Even if the i3 MSRP is $44,500 it’s still a bargain, in my opinion, for CFRP and aluminum vehicle.

      If the MSRP really is $34,500, my next new car will be the i3 for sure. (A little voice in my head just said, “dream on”). .

  • danwat1234

    That’s a lot of battery to have 125 miles range for that price with the range extender, probably from the simple range extender hardware.

    According to the BMW blog, it uses a freon cooled battery pack rather than water cooled like the Volt or Teslas.

    Also a heatpump heater instead of resistive?

    If the long range MPG is decent since it’s a simple series hybrid in range extended mode, I’d buy it over a Volt. More battery, more acceleration (top speed?) for the same money.
    Motorcycle engine; emissions rating in range extended mode?

    • Any idea if the range extender version maintains full power after the battery depletes like in a Volt? That’s important to know.. Thanks.

      • danwat1234

        I think it’ll have a motorcycle engine, that’s why I’m curious how it’ll sound and what emissions rating the engine will have (will my EV smell like a motorcycle on a trip?).

        Probably won’t be able to maintain super fast highway driving I’m guessing or towing over a mountain. Might have to take breaks for it to catch up. Just a guess.

        • it would be ideal if you weren’t restricted using the engine mode… we’ll find out soon enough, maybe they leave a large battery reserve like in the Volt for when the engine comes on….

        • Jim Seko

          It definitely will not smell like a motorcycle. Motorcycles are exempt from meeting emissions standards. Because of this, motorcycles do not have catalytic converters. That smell you refer to is unburned gasoline. Catalytic converters essentially burn the fuel not burned in the combustion chamber. A passenger vehicle with four wheels is required to pass emissions standards. The motorcycle engine will be modified to comply without a doubt.

          As far as the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is concerned I have a hunch the BMW engineers will do what it takes to make this engine as smooth as possible. I can’t imagine BMW would invest in things like carbon fiber while cutting corners on NVH reduction.

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