|Richard Kim discusses the exterior design of the i3|
After the presentation, we had an opportunity to talk individually with both men and get some more photos. The whole event lasted for about three hours and since there wasn't a lot of people there everyone had the opportunity to talk with Kim & Steinberg if they wanted to. Being in the MINI-E program for the past two and a half years it was really rewarding to see the i3 for the first time in person. A lot of the feedback that I and the other MINI-E pioneers have given BMW has gone into shaping the car, both aesthetically and mechanically. BMW has been criticized by some for not selling an EV yet, only leasing the MINI-E and ActiveE to a relatively small group of people in special lease only programs. It's been called anything from greenwashing to a California CARB credit grab. I don't doubt the CARB credits were a part of why these programs exist, and BMW has never denied it. However anyone that thinks or writes that BMW isn't committed to e-mobility and sustainable automobile manufacturing is either blind or has some sort of an agenda against them. Being first to market isn't BMW's plan for electric vehicles, being the best when to arrive is. In 2013 the BMW i3 will be the first fully electric BMW ever sold, and from everything I've seen about this car so far, and I've seen much more than most, I think they are on target to achieve their goal. If they can manage to keep this car at a reasonably price ($40 to $45k), then I think they are going to sell very well.
I was asked by GreenCarReports & PlugInCars to cover this event. You can read my reviews at these links: