BMW Prices Electric i3

By Jennifer Geiger  on July 22, 2013

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BMW originally promised a 2013 on-sale date for its i3 electric car — turns out it'll be a bit later. When the compact electric car goes on sale during the second quarter of 2014, it'll start at $42,275, including a $925 destination fee, but exclusive of any state or federal tax incentives.

The wedge-like, four-passenger hatchback looks straight from the future; BMW says it uses the industry's first mass-produced carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body mounted on an aluminum frame. Inside, the automaker claims it offers 3 Series-like space, though its body is several inches shorter.

Power for the 170-horsepower motor comes from a 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery; torque is rated at 184 pounds-feet. BMW says the rear-wheel-drive hatchback's range is 80 to 100 miles and is good for a zero to 35 mph run of about 3.5 seconds. For those with range anxiety, a 34-hp two-cylinder gas engine that acts as a generator is optional. BMW says the setup increases the car’s maximum range to 160 to 180 miles.

For charging, owners can opt for a home system supplied by BMW or a Level 2, or 240-volt, public charging unit. BMW has not released pricing on the home unit, however. A direct-current fast-charging port is optional; BMW says the car's battery can get an 80% charge in 20 minutes with a fast charger. Drivers can locate charging stations through the car’s navigation system.

The concept version is pictured above; BMW will release official pictures on July 29.

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer