Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Public Sighting of an i3 with the REx Option

It looks like we have the first pictures of an i3 with the REx option. According to Drive Arabia, this photo was taken in Dubai recently. Speculation is the i3 is there to conduct hot weather testing. 

In the photo you can see the open port above the front wheel. I've never seen any i3 photo with a fuel door there. Every picture and video I've seen to date shows only one door and it's about six inches above the rear passenger side wheel. If you look closely at this picture you can see the outline of the small door there. I believe this is the door to the charge port and the opening you see above the front wheel is where gas will go for the optional gas range extender (REx). 

This i3 looks like it's pretty close to production beneath the swirly camouflage. Hopefully we'll get a peek at what's under there sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rumor: BMW i3 to cost between $43,000 and $49,700

According to the i3, BMW’s first entry into the EV market will be priced similarly to the current entry level 5-Series, somewhere between €35,000 - €40,000 ($43,000 - $49,700US).

This isn't really a surprise since BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer previously said the i3 will be priced less than a five series. Given the current five series starts at about $48,000, this price range seems in line with those comments. If you look below at my previous post below, you'll see the poll I started that asks "What would you pay for an i3?" It seems the poll results are very close to what I expect the i3 pricing to start at, which is right around $45,000. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

How Much Would You Pay For An i3?

There are a lot of questions still unanswered about BMW's first production electric car, the i3. Various sources have reported it will launch in September 2013 as an 2014 model, and BMW has gradually released technical information like the battery size(22kWh's) the motor specs (130kw, 184 lb-ft torque, 170 hp) and dimensions (151" long, 60" high, 101" wheelbase and 2,756lbs). However the only thing anyone from BMW has said regarding the price is that it will cost "less than a BMW 5-Series sedan", which starts at about $48,000US.

Which brings us to this poll today. How much would you be willing to pay for a BMW i3? Before you answer the poll, please read the specifications of the other available and soon to be available electric cars. This may give you a better understanding of where the i3 fits into the electric vehicle scene.

BMW i3 ???
Four passenger hatchback to be sold 3rd quarter 2013 as a 2014 model.
130 kW motor: Top speed 93mph: 0-60 in under 8 seconds
Rear wheel drive; 7.7kW level 2 charging standard, SAE DC quick charge optional
Active liquid thermal management battery system
22kWh battery, Carbon fiber passenger cell & aluminum frame (dedicated EV platform)
Range: EPA 92 miles per charge (estimated)

Nissan LEAF $35,200(SV) $37,250(SL)
Five passenger hatchback currently available
80 kW motor: Top speed: 90mph: 0-60 9.9 sec
Front wheel drive; 3.3kW level 2 standard, CHAdeMO quick charge optional(standard on SL)
Passive thermal management system
24kWh battery, conventional construction(dedicated EV platform)
Range: EPA rated 73 miles per charge

Coda Sedan $37,250
Five passenger sedan currently available
100 kW motor: Top speed 85mph: 0-60 9.5 sec
Front wheel drive; 6.6kW level 2 standard, no DC quick charge option available
Active liquid thermal management system
31kWh battery, conventional construction(dedicated EV platform)
Range: EPA rated 88 miles per charge

Ford Focus Electric $39,995
Five Passenger hatchback currently available
100 kW motor: Top speed 84mph: 0-60 9.5 sec
Front wheel drive; 6.6kW level 2 charging standard, no DC quick charge option available
Active liquid thermal management battery system
23kWh battery, conventional construction (converted ICE platform)
Range: EPA rated 76 miles per charge

Tesla Model S $57,400
Five Passenger hatchback(with 2 optional rear-facing child seats) available early 2013
Motor and performance figured not available, but expected to be good.
Rear wheel drive;10kw level 2 charging standard, no DC quick charge option for 40kW base Model S
Active liquid thermal management battery system
40kW battery, EV platform: "skateboard" battery design & extensive use of aluminum to reduce weight.
Range: 125-130mile EPA rating (estimated)

As you can see, the i3 motor's power, charging rate, top speed, 0-60 and range is better than all the currently available EV's but will in all likelihood be less than that of the Tesla Model S 40kW once Tesla releases that information. I believe this points to the fair market value of the i3 to be somewhere between the Model S and the other less expensive EV's. I have therefore listed the poll pricing options to be in between the Model S and the others.

Please vote fairly. Obviously, everybody would like the price to be as low as possible, but I'm asking for you to vote for what you would pay based on what you think is a fair price in the market for the i3. In my opinion, there is absolutely no way the car will list for under $40,000 but I put that in a a choice anyway. Of course all these vehicles qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, so your final cost will be $7,500 less than the listed prices provided you qualify for the tax credit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BMW i Born Electric Tour Announced

Over the next 12 months, BMW i is going on tour! Of course the i3 and i8 concepts will be there, but what else does BMW have in store for us? The tour is starting in Rome later this month before heading off to  Dusseldorf, Tokyo, New York, London, Paris and Shanghai. The tour will end about three months before the launch of the i3 which is rumored to be in September of 2013.

My ActiveE was even used as a prop at one of the locations being scouted in New York City:
My ActiveE on display at one of the possible NYC Born Electric tour locations