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China: BMW: Electric cars will arrive at dealers in 2014

The BMW i3 electric offers 125kW in power and can accelerate from zero to 100 km in eight seconds. Provided to China Daily

The first mass-produced electric vehicles from BMW’s “i” division will be shipped to dealers in China in 2014, BMW Group’s senior executives said at the Los Angeles auto show early this month.

The i3 battery-powered vehicle and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will be sold in BMW’s “5S” dealerships in China, its top outlets that have added “sustainability” to the standard 4S functions of sales, spare parts, service and surveys.

BMW has seven such dealerships in several Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

BMW Group unveiled the “i” sub-brand last year at its global headquarters in Munich.

Volume production of the i3 and i8 is scheduled to begin next year.

The i3, BMW’s first mass-produced electric model, is a four-seater built for the city.

The i8 plug-in hybrid will be based on a super car platform that will offer strong performance with lower emissions.

The BMW i3 coupe concept model that made its world premiere at the Los Angeles auto show can produce top power of 125kW and accelerate from zero to 100 km in just eight seconds.

The battery takes six hours for a full charge or an hour for an 80 percent charge. BMW said the vehicle can drive about 160 kilometers on a single charge.

Lighter body

The frame for BMW i vehicles is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics to offset the weight from their battery pack and powertrain. BMW said use of the high-tech material in mass-produced vehicles is unprecedented.

The BMW i cars will be built at a newly renovated BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany.

The carmaker began production of carbon fiber last year at its plants in Wackersdorf, Germany and Moses Lake in the US state of Washington.


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