Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BMW i3 Cost a Hot Topic

There are lot of unknowns with the i3. BMW has been very careful to only leak out small details, much to the chagrin of journalists and enthusiasts interested in the car. However the most sought after piece of information that everyone wants to know is how much will it cost?

It seemed like we finally got some clarity on that a couple days ago when Diana Kurylko of the Automotive News wrote a story that claimed the i3's would be "priced at about $40,000". The story was of course picked up by many other outlets and suddenly everywhere you looked on the internet you saw "BMW i3 to cost $40,000". I was skeptical of his from the start. While I have no official inside information on what the price will be I do not believe it will be as low as $40,000. I'm thinking $43,000 to $45,000 as the base price, with options like the range extender and premium electronics packages pushing the price up to and even over $50,000.

Willisch handing me the keys to my ActiveE
So after re-reading Kurylko's piece a few times, it became clear to me that she came up with the $40,000 figure herself, not from anyone BMW. During her interview with BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch, he told her the i3 would be priced "roughly the same as a well-equipped 3-series sedan" and Kurylko added the $40,000 herself, assuming that is what a well-equipped 3-series sedan costs. Only she was wrong. A well equipped 3-series costs closer to $45,000 depending on what you consider well equipped. Realizing this I posted my doubts on the BMW i3 Facebook group page and opened a thread for discussion. John Voelcker of High Gear Media, one of the leading journalists in the US covering electric vehicles, was the first to comment and I could see he was interested in getting the facts straight. He later posted that he contacted BMW spokesman Dave Buchko to follow up on the Automotive News piece and Buchko cleared things up a bit, reiterating that Willisch only said the i3 would be comparably priced to a well-equipped 3-series and didn't offer any specific price, and that such a car costs more than $40,000 He actually said a well equipped 3-series "falls more in the $45,000 to $50,000 range." Voelckers entire follow up story in GreenCarReports can be seen here.

So the hope of a $40,000 base i3 price was short lived. Personally I never thought the price would be that low. I believe it will be in the $43,000 to $45,000 range before any tax incentives so the final cost on a base i3 without options should be under $40,000 after the $7,500 federal tax rebate for those that qualify. Add a nice array of options and the range extender and you're probably talking $52,000 -$53,000, or about $45,000 after the federal tax credit. Final pricing probably won't be announced till after the i3's official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

1 comment:

  1. It now has a stable price here in the UK and I think it's a well valuable price.