BMW officially introduced its i3 electric vehicle in New York today, showcasing what the German automaker calls a “truly purpose built electric car.”
“Innovation drives change. The i3 is more than just a car,” said BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer. ”It’s a revolutionary step towards sustainable mobility.”
Since the i3 was designed as an EV from the outset, it’s full of brand new technology, and is able to travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. Charging the i3 from empty to full with a standard charger will take only three hours, although a fast charger will do the trick in just 30 minutes.
The i3 features a 22-kW lithium-ion battery which is mounted low. This battery powers a 170-hp motor which sends 184-lbs-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Making the spring to 60 mph takes only 7 seconds, which is not a bad time for an EV. Top speed of the i3 is just 93 mph. BMW is also offering a 34-hp, two-cylinder generator as a range extender for those early adopters who still have range anxiety.
BMW put the i3 on a strict diet, with the EV weighing just about 2,700 lbs thanks to the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other lightweight materials.
Starting at $41,350 before any incentives or rebates, the i3 will be available in the second quarter of 2014 in one of three trim levels: Mega, Giga and Terra.