Saturday, December 28, 2013

BMW i3 US Option Pricing Released

This afternoon, BMWBLOG along with other news outlets reported that BMW has released the pricing details for i3 options for the US market. You can use this link  to download the full list of i3 options pricing.

Nothing really new to report other than the pricing. The only odd thing I see is that sunroof isn't listed anywhere and it has been previously reported that it comes standard with the Giga and Tera World packages. For now I will assume it still is, and that someone at BMW NA just made a mistake and didn't list it here, but it is something to keep an eye on because it's very odd that there is no mention of it here. I've previously looked at the options pricing for Europe, so I pretty much knew what to expect and there are no surprises for me here. Here is a quick summary of the options:

Exterior paint:
The non-metallic paints (Arravaini Grey and Capparis White) are standard with no extra charge. Although Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicles sales and strategy recently said that the Capparis White will not be available in the US, at least for the first model year. That means if you don't like the Arravani Grey you'll be forced to pay the extra $550 for a metallic paint option and choose from Ionic Sliver, Solar Orange, Laurel Grey and Andesite Silver.

Mega World is standard, Giga World is a $1,700 option and Tera World will set you back an extra $2,700. All three interiors are pictured on the left (click to enlarge) with Mega on top and Tera on the bottom. The interiors only come in the colors shown, you cannot select Tera for example and get Grey leather, it only comes in the Brown trim shown. Giga adds 19" Alloy Turbine wheels style 429 and Tera adds 19" Turbine wheels style 428. For an additional $1,300 you can get the Sport 20" Double Spoke wheels style 430 regardless of the World package you choose. All of the wheels are lightweight and designed for minimum aerodynamic drag. The base wheels on Mega World is probably the most aerodynamic but will likely be viewed as the least visually appealing.

The 19" Mega World Wheels are on the far left followed to the right by the 19" Tera World Style 428 which is next to the 19" Giga World Style 429's and the 20" Sport Style 430 is on the right.
The Parking Package costs $1,000 and gives you the rear view camera, Park Distance Control and Parking Assistant (which is self parking and I've personally tested it on an i3 and it works perfectly). The technology & Driving Assistant package costs $2,500 and with that you get ACC Stop & Go + Active Driving Assistant (which is a self-driving feature for slow congested-street driving), the professional navigation system with wide screen Nav (Basic Nav is standard), BMW Online and BMW apps as well as Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information.

Heated front seats is a $350 option and if you live anywhere where the temperature drops below 50 degrees during the year I urge you to get the heated seats. In you happen to live in an area where it gets really cold, like below 30 degrees, this option in mandatory in my opinion. That's because for some strange reason BMW linked the battery warming system to the heated seat option so if you don't get the heated seat option, you cannot pre-warm the battery pack - odd indeed, but that's how it works. Luckily it's only a $350 option.

The Harman Kardon Premium sound system is an $800 option. Every i3 I've driven so far had this option, so I don't know how good the standard sound system is, but I can say the 12-speaker HK option is a great sound system. It's probably the best sound system I have ever had in a car and I'll definitely be getting it. The sound is so clear and with the quiet cabin of an electric car you can really appreciate the clarity of a great sound system even more so than in an internal combustion car.

At only $700 the DC Quick Charge option is priced reasonably, but will there be CCS stations to charge at?
DC Quick Charge:
The DC Quick Charging option is reasonably priced at $700. I believe BMW didn't charge more because they know the value of this option is directly tied to the amount of CCS DC quick chargers there are and right now there are only a couple of them. I'm pretty confident the deployment is going to occur, but at what pace I can't be sure. I also believe BMW is going to help with deployment in some degree, but exactly what level of participation is yet unknown. For certain, BMW isn't going to install and maintain the CCS chargers, like Tesla is with their Supercharger network. However that doesn't mean they aren't going to get involved in the deployment, perhaps by subsidizing the cost of the stations in certain areas, helping their dealers install them and perhaps forming partnerships with other stakeholders to help with deployment. I suspect we'll hear news on this front relatively soon too.

So what's an i3 really going to cost?
Finally, destination & handling is $925. So if you wanted to pay the least possible amount and still drive home in a BEV i3 the price after destination and handling is $42,275. However, if you want the i3 with range extender, along with the top of the line Tera World package, and every single possible option available, your price before incentives would be $56,025. That makes the options spread a whopping $13,750 if you consider the range extender an "option" and not a different model entirely. If you look at it that way, every available option offered increases the i3's price by $9,900. Is it cheap? Certainly not, but BMW doesn't sell "cheap" cars, they are a premium brand. However the tax incentives really help to make the i3 much more affordable, especially if you live in a State like California that offers additional incentives on top of the Federal tax credit. Whether or not it's "worth it" is going to be a personal choice and people assign value to different characteristics. I happen to really like the unique architecture used, the fact that it's the first volume production car made primarily of CFRP and aluminum and how BMW considered sustainable manufacturing processes including a high degree of renewable energy during the entire manufacturing process. Others may not care about that but it's important to me. However nothing matters much if the driving experience isn't good and after four test drives I'm satisfied that the i3 delivers the performance and fun-factor that I want in my car. Ok BMW I'm ready to order now... just take my money and give me my i3! Laurel Grey, range extender and every damn option there is. I've waited this long for it, I might as well spoil myself!


  1. You should cover the "Range Extender" option as well. If you have already and I missed it. Sorry. I don't get to spend as much time online these days.

    1. Just scroll down 2 posts and you'll see I did a long post about the range extender. You can also tag the "range extender" label on the right border and you'll see all the posts about it. There is probably more i3 range extender content here than anywhere on the internet! :)

  2. Can anyone provide some clarity on the network connectivity?

    I see three relevant features listed in the document:
    Standard: "BMW TeleServices"
    Standard: "Remote Services"
    $2,500 Technology Package: "BMW Online and BMW Apps"

    Does anyone know what these are, exactly?

    At minimum, I want to be able to remotely monitor and control the car from my smartphone. That means checking battery state, charging state and remote climate prestart. Which of the above options gives me that? Is this minimum capability possibly standard?

    * And regarding smartphones, when the first i3 ships they need to have support for both iPhone and Android, none of this "Android coming soon" nonsense, it's the #1 OS on the market!

    1. The smartphone connectivity is all standard Chris. I just confirmed that.

      I was also assured the Android app would be ready for the US launch at the LA Auto Show...

    2. I believe the BMW Online and BMW Apps are things like Google Search in the car and the other apps that they've included in the Active E (the built in Charging Station search, etc.)

    3. Thanks guys! That's a relief. At first glance, without having yet seen a full description of the options, I'm not likely to go for the Tech package.

  3. Hey Tom, do you happen to know what the configuration was that BMW had us drive at the LA Auto Show?

    1. Yes, I believe George is correct and they had every option available.

  4. Dennis, I believe that it was a Tera World in Solar Orange with every option, including the Sport 20" Double Spoke wheels, except range extender.

  5. Tom , the spec sheet shows 32amp charging , do we know the actual curent drawn and or the wattage of the OBC ?
    I currently have the Nissan branded aeroviroment EVSE and I think it has a 30amp pilot signal. for a 7.2kw max

    1. The i3's OBC can accept up to 32 amps @240v which would be a possible ~7.7kW. Your Aerovironment EVSE is fine at 30amps and will work perfectly. The car communicates with the EVSE and accepts what the EVSE is made to provide. You won't ever notice the difference in the possible 2amps of difference anyway.

  6. So I keep seeing pictures of this car with a sun roof, but no where in the specs or options does it suggest it comes with a sun roof. Does anyone know if it comes standard or is an option?

    1. Hi Danny,

      There is some ambiguity over the sunroof now. We just don't have clarity from BMW yet. It seems that the car may launch without the sunroof being available, and it will become available at a later date, but that is speculation.

      Once there has been an announcement I will have it posted here on this blog immediately.