The BMW i3 finally arrives in November this year, and will carry a price tag equivalent to a top-spec BMW 3 Series. That’s according to BMW’s Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing, Ian Robertson.
The i3 is expected to go on sale in Europe first, in mid-November, with US sales starting in January 2014. However, when the car arrives, it will cost “high-end 3 Series money, initially.” The current top-spec 330d M Sport starts at £36,610.
The price also means that the i3 will cost more than rivals like the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which starts at £28,490, and range-extender Vauxhall Ampera, which costs from £34,995 – although BMW did not confirm whether the price includes the deduction of a potential £5,000, thanks to the government plug-in car grant.
While the outright purchase price seems steep, BMW predicts that many buyers will opt to lease the car. The firm is currently finalising the leasing deals it will offer, but one option is that buyers will be able to opt to lease the i3 for their weekday travel, with the use of a BMW estate or SUV for longer trips at the weekend.
This is an extension of the deal currently included for buyers of the Renault ZOE, which includes a 25 per cent discount from Enterprise for car rentals.
BMW will offer two versions of the i3 – one as an all-electric model, with a range of around 80 miles, and another – the predicted top-seller – with a 650cc two-cylinder BMW motorbike engine under its boot floor, which works as a range extender, boosting the car’s range to around 250 miles.