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The Electric BMW i3 Is Not Hot But It’ll Sell

Today at simultaneous events in Manhattan, London and Beijing BMW unveiled the production version of its hybrid electric car, the 2014 BMW i3.

-Pricing (before federal or local incentives) starts at $41,350; $45,200 for Range Extender model. Destination & Handling Fee not included.
– On Sale: Q2 of 2014 in the USA.
– BMW’s 360 Electric electro mobility services.
– BMW i Remote app, which connects with the car.
– BMW Navigation is standard.
– BMW Intelligent Emergency Call (‘eCall”), Anti theft alarm and Rear Parking Distance Control are standard.

BMW has not released the car for test drives yet, but on paper it looks like it will be more agile than competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. Its 2,700 pounds are feather-light compared to the others, and its flat lithium-ion battery packaged along the floor of the vehicle is balanced–like the rest of the BMW fleet–with a perfect 50/50 weight distribution front to back.
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I3 has the equivalent of 170 horsepower and will hit 60 miles per hour in seven seconds. Top speed is 93 mph. It’s no Tesla, but it’ll get the job done.

The car is also a step forward for battery life: It will go nearly 100 miles on electric power alone, presumably in its ECO Pro+ mode (there are two other drive modes as well—Comfort and ECO Pro). An additional 34-horsepower, 650cc engine doubles the range; it takes roughly three hours to charge on a 220-volt line.


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