BMW EV: 'Game-changing' i3 arrives
22 August 2013
London payed host to a joint world unveiling of BMW's new electric i3. Paul Barker went along to see how it will work for business car fleets.
The launch of a new BMW sub-brand is always going to be big news - 'one of the most important days in the company's history' was how the manufacturer worded it.
The i3 is BMW's first foray into the electric vehicle world, and UK boss Tim Abbott was strong in his pitch as to the car's importance.
"The i3 represents a revolution in urban mobility - it is, as they say, a game-changer," he told the audience of invited guests to the car's world unveiling, which was held simultaneously in London, New York and Beijing.
It goes on sale towards the end of 2013, but BMW has already announced aggressive pricing as it seeks to make a strong entrance into the sector. Available as a pure-electric model with a range of 80-100 miles, or also equipped with a 34hp 650cc engine to add another easy 80 extra miles from the nine-litre fuel tank, the i3 costs from £30,680 for the EV version, before the Government's £5000 grant, with the range-extender adding another £3150. Four different interior "worlds" will be offered - Standard, Loft, Lodge and Suite - with BMW quoting three-year lease rates of £369-£480 per month from a Standard electric version up to a range-extender-equipped model in Suite trim.