BMW is poised to release its first-ever electric luxury car on July 29th, 2013. The long-awaited 2014 BMW i3 electric car will join its thirstier siblings and offer up something new for clients while opening up full throttle with a new niche for the BMW brand. While European deliveries for the i3 began in November, they are just starting stateside.
The 2014 BMW i3 at a glance:
- 70-100 mile electric-only power range
- There will also be a range-extended version made available with a twin-cylinder gas engine derived from a motorcycle. This will offer backup comfort for those with range anxiety.
- For those still too nervous to commit to an electric or hybrid vehicle, there is still the BMW Loaner Program, follow link for full details.
- Rear wheel drive
- The electric-only version packs 168 ponies
- 22 kWh lithium-ion battery can be recharged at home or on the go.
- Rolling brake energy recuperation
- The 0-60 jump time is 7.6 seconds. It is clearly not a track car, but intended for greener commutes to the office…so long as that office is less than 100 miles away roundtrip. Remember, buyers can always charge the car during the workday before the commute home.
The range-extended version of the BMW i3 may be the best option. For just a couple of thousand dollars more, BMW will pack on the small motor mentioned above, creating a hybrid version. The engine is a two-cylinder 600cc supplied by BMW Motorrad, their luxury motorcycle division. The price for the hybrid option could have been dramatically higher, but BMW is smart enough to know that it is challenging enough to get consumers to buy electric and hybrid vehicles at this juncture. It will take a few more years before buyers feel confident in buying new forms of vehicles, likely when they begin to see more recharging stations and people they know driving them.