BMW i3 prices: £25k or £369 per month
The i3 will cost £30,680 outright, but this price will drop to £25,680 when a government grant of £5000 is taken into consideration. This means the car costs around the same as a top-spec Nissan Leaf, but around £10k more than a range-topping Renault Zoe.
BMW has also confirmed that the car will be available on a contract hire deal; customers pay an initial £2995 (including VAT), then a monthly £369 (including VAT). The contract lasts three years and includes 8000 miles per year.
The prices issued today are solely for the full-electric i3, which has a range of between 80 and 100 miles. There will also be a range-extender version that includes a two-cylinder petrol engine to keep the electric motor's battery pack from running flat. It's expected to cost around £2500 more than the EV version.
BMW has not issued details of equipment and trim levels (sources say that at least two types of infotainment screen will be available, for example), but it has confirmed that UK-spec i3 models will get AC Fast Charging as standard. This can take the i3's battery from zero to 80% charge in just three hours, and perform a full charge in four hours.
The system can use BMW's optional i Wallbox, which can be installed at the customer's home; BMW says it is lining up energy partners who can offer 'green electricity' to make these wallbox charges emissions-free.
If an AC Fast Charging point is not available, the i3 can be charged using a regular household socket. This set-up is much slower, at eight to 10 hours for a full charge.
Buyers of the i3 are also likely to be offered packages of 'conventional motoring', through which they can get access to a regular petrol or diesel car for a specified number of days per year. This could allow an owner to drive an i3 through the year, then swap it for a diesel X5 to take on an annual skiing holiday, for example.
Details of this scheme, and full specs, are expected to be announced at the car's global reveal in London next week.
By John McIlroy