i3 puts BMW's weight behind electric motoring

BMW has revealed the production-ready BMW i3 electric car following its appearance as a concept at the Los Angeles Motor Show last year. This will be the first of two electric/hybrid vehicles in BMW’s range.

It is hard to over-estimate the importance of BMW putting their formidable marketing power behind the electric car and, in just four months the first BMW i3s should be leaving UK dealerships to begin a life with real users on the UK’s roads.

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Ian Robertson and Patrick McLoughlin MP at the launch of the BMW i3

One of the major issues in persuading owners to choose electric will be price. Most car owners have a clear perception of the cost benefits of electricity compared to expensive petrol or diesel. The majority are probably now persuaded that electric vehicles can meet, or beat, the performance of equivalent petrol or diesel cars.

But, the big question in their minds is purchase cost and concerns about battery life.

BMW will offer the BMW i3 with a leasing price that starts at £369 per month. These customers will sign up to a 36-month contract, with an initial payment of £2,995 followed by the monthly payments. The contract mileage will be 24,000 miles.



Alternatively, customers will be able to purchase the BMW i3 outright for £25,680.

One of the other common concerns about electric cars is about their range between charges. For those who want to be able to keep driving beyond the battery range, BMW will offer a ‘range-extender’ version of the i3 at a later date. This car will have a BMW motorcycle engine of 650cc that will cut in to recharge the battery on the go, if necessary. BMW say the range-extender version will be able to travel 180 miles before refuelling.

The BMW i3 can be recharged from zero to 80% battery in just three hours with a fast-charging point, or in ten hours on a normal domestic socket.
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