BMW i3 likely to start from £35,000

  • Fully electric and range-extender models
  • More expensive than competitors
  • On sale before the end of 2013
BMW i3
BMW i3
The BMW i3 electric city car is likely to cost around £35,000 when it goes on sale later this year, according to a senior company source.

It has been shown in concept car form and will make production as both a fully electric vehicle and a range extender (where a small petrol engine keeps the batteries charged). However, BMW has yet to confirm prices.

Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing, has now given a strong hint that the car will sit above EVs and range extenders, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, which both cost from between £23,000 and around £28,000.

'We haven't announced final pricing, but you should be thinking of the higher end of the BMW 3 Series range,' Robertson told What Car?. That would give the car a price of around £35,000.

Robertson said: 'That's the flat purchase price; we do think a lot of the customers will lease and we're working on innovative solutions for that side of the business.'

Those solutions are likely to include the option of a larger, conventionally powered vehicle as part of the deal. That could potentially allow i3 owners to use their EV (or range extender) during the week, then switch to an X5 or 3 Series Touring for longer weekend trips.

By John McIlroy

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