2014 BMW i3 Price Announced: $42,275 Before Incentives

By · July 22, 2013

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The BMW i3will go on sale next year at an MSRP of $42,275 before incentives, including destination charge.

BMW’s first all-electric production car—the 2014 i3—will carry a price of $42,275 before incentives when it goes on sale later this year, BMW announced this morning. It will become available in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014.

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $41,350 and a mandatory destination fee of $925, the i3 will be eligible for the same $7,500 federal tax credit as other plug-in cars on sale in the U.S. today. Add local incentives and residents in California will be able to pick up a brand new i3 for as little as $33,000, while those in Colorado—where state legislation offers plug-in car drivers up to $6,000 in tax credits—will be able to buy an i3 for $28,775.

“The BMW i3 heralds the dawn of a new era for individual mobility and for the BMW Group,” said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, BMW. “True to a genuine BMW, the BMW i3 has strong emotional appeal, outstanding product substance and a guarantee of sheer driving pleasure.”

While it’sa city car at heart, a 125 kilowatt (170-horsepower) electric motor gives the four-seat i3 an impressive 184 pound-feet of torque, enabling it to accelerate from 0 to 35 m.p.h. in 3.5 seconds and from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in around 7 seconds. Meanwhile, a 22 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) chassis could mean the i3 will be able to travel between 80 and 100 miles per charge, although official EPA economy figures have yet to be released.

The official pricing of the all-electric i3 puts it toward the high-end of the electric vehicle market, making it the most expensive all-electric four-seater on the market today. While the BMW i3 is more expensive in the U.S. than the Chevrolet Volt, it will go on sale in Europe for slightly less than the Volt’s European cousin, the Opel Ampera.

Still to be released, however, is the price of the BMW i3 with onboard range-extended engine. Available as an option, the range-extended engine will allow the BMW i3 to travel an additional 100 miles or more beyond its expected 80 to 100 mile range. Rumors price the range-extender option at a few thousand dollars on top of the base price, although this has yet to be officially confirmed.

With just a week left until BMW officially unveils the i3 at simultaneous launch events in New York, London and Bejing, details to supplement what we already know about this highly-anticipated car will emerge as the week progresses.


· · 4 years ago

Nice car, but its priced as a BMW. I assume the motorcycle range extender is $2,000?

· · 4 years ago

I'm pleasantly surprised at this news. Given the CFRP frame, I was expecting the price to be higher.

· · 4 years ago

It is very well priced for its segament. It is going to take some sales away from Volt and Leaf for sure.

I am still curious on how the REx operates in the real world.

· · 4 years ago

I think the price is reasonable, considering the i3 was built to be an EV from the ground-up with lightweight materials. And, if the REx does go for only $2K, that's also a great deal. After incentives, this car costs about the same as a loaded Camry or Accord.

I have said many times, I think the i3 is going to set the bar for future EVs. EV buyers are going to expect more that converted steel ICE vehicles in the future. The Volt and LEAF are great first gen products, but they aren't going to be able compete with the carbon fiber EVs of the future.

· · 4 years ago

@Bret F,

I agree with mostly what you said. But the key question is which one is closer in making money? Is Volt and Leaf cheaper to build with shared platform and parts then the ground up i3?

I don't see how the unique parts of the i3 can be any cheaper to build. In the long term, profit has to be there in order for automaker to comit to it. I still haven't seen the figure on how much money each i3 is costing BMW.

· · 4 years ago

The BMW i3 doesn't break any new ground that I can see. It has the same electric range as run of the mill EV. The range extended version has half the range of a Volt, and a lower performance engine. The Volt is also over $5000 cheaper, $10,000 if you include the promos. The i3's acceleration isn't much better than a Chevy Spark to 60, which can be had for $17,000 in California.

I guess I was expecting a little more from BMW.

· · 4 years ago


I'm not an automotive expert, but I don't think anyone is going to make any money selling 2,000 1st generation EVs per month. Just like with the Prius hybrids, the real money comes when you are on the 3rd generation and have sold 3 million units. Toyota will probably sell double or triple that number in the coming years. The point is that car manufacturers know they can't cede the EV market, like they did with hybrids, because it's very difficult to overtake the established market leaders.

BMW's theory with Mega City / Efficient Dynamics is they spend more on the weight and efficiency, which reduces energy use and improves performance. They have succeeded to a large degree, because the i3 should easily outdistance the LEAF and Focus EV, especially in Eco+ mode. It dramatically outperforms them. I'm not sure how much it will cost to produce an i3, but if BMW becomes the CFRP masters, they will be light years ahead of the other EV manufacturers and the may even adopt it to their future ICE vehicles. The skateboard / life cell construction is also the future. Tesla has also figured this out and is killing it.

So, the simple answer to your question is in 3 years they aren't going to sell many Volts and LEAFs against the BMW i3 and Gen III Tesla, unless they improve those models dramatically. GM has already admitted that and I'm sure Nissan knows it as well.

· · 4 years ago


You do know that many models priced at $40k+ are selling less than 2,000 unit per month, right? Those models can make money for automakers, then why can't EVs?

Tesla doesn't even make money on model S yet. BMW has never intended for high volume market. But you are right that BMW is aimed at longer distance and so is Tesla.

As far as the skateboard cell goes, GM, Honda and BMW has shown various form of it in the last 10 years in the autoshow. So, it is nothing new.

In 3 years, the next generation Volt and Leaf will be ready for the market so we shall see how that impacts the market.

· · 4 years ago

Yet another seat four only restricted car, a real family unfriendly epidemic that starts to be unnerving to say the least. Why do they exclude the normal so badly needed fifth seat?

· · 4 years ago

@ ModernMarvel,

Sure, BMW and others are making a fortune on low volume cars, because they have been selling them for many years, with only minor improvements. The development, tooling and R&D costs were amortized long ago. EVs are brand new and require billions in R&D, plus new materials, accessories, computers and construction techniques. That's why ICE heads keep saying, "Every EV made loses money." That may be true today, but it won't be in the near future. That's also why I used the Prius as an example. The first gen was a converted Echo, which lost money.

BMW's goal is to sell 40,000 i3s per year, which is very doable. If they can reduce the cost in a couple years, as the Volt and LEAF have recently done, I think they will have a real winner. I also think higher density battery chemistries will help a lot. GM has an investment in Envia systems, which could be a game changer.

GM and Honda haven't done squat with the skateboard design and I don't think they will until they are forced by competition. They are making a fortune on the Silverado, Tahoe and Accord. The next generation Volt will likely be another converted econo-box, like the Spark. If they can make it cheaply enough, it may even sell well. I'm hoping Nissan does better with the next gen LEAF. I am also rooting for Tesla with the Gen III. I really want an affordable 200-300 mile pure EV.

· · 4 years ago


Prius's profit margin is still questioable today. An official was quoted that around 2006/2007, Prius started to make money on "per car basis" excluding the initial R&D cost. So, Toyota is trying to spread out the intial R&D cost by leveraging as much its synergy powertrain across all its platform as it can. So, expect the company to make money soon on EV is very risky. Not to mention the fact that one of the MOST expensive piece of hardware in the EV is the battery and it is NOT controlled by the automaker like engine and transmission.

Skateboard design has been around for at least 2 decades. Automakers hasn't done anything to it b/c two things, 1. There is some form of "shared platform" that is similar to it. 2. the battery technology is NOT there yet.

Honda has been sharing the chassis between ridgeline, pilot, Odyssey, Accord, TL, MDX for a long time now. But it is NOT a complete switch blade design. Tesla so far is the only one with a long range BEV.

We still don't know how much those CFRP cost BMW at this point. BMW might have decided to go into CFRP b/c it is "universal" between EV and ICE cars. It doesn't matter what technology is underneath, all types of transportation can use stronger/lighter material. Saving weight is always beneficial.

As far as the bluestar/GenIII Tesla goes, I think there are far more potential buyers waiting for that $35k 200 miles EV. However, with today's technology, it is NOT gonna to happen. I think Tesla is "banking" on some signficant battery improvement in the next 5 years. If it doesn't happen, you can kiss that sub $40k 200 miles BEV good bye.

Remember that Tesla might own some IP on battery packaging design, it doesn't own anything on battery cells. At the end of day, that is the key to the battery cost, EV range and longivity.

· · 4 years ago


You've made some interesting points, but I really disagree with you.

The Prius profit margin is not even remotely questionable. In 2007 they hadn't even sold a million Priuses yet. By march of 2013 they had sold 3.67 million. It's now the best selling car in California and the third best selling car worldwide. There is no question they have paid for the R&D and are making money.

BMW claims it will make money on the i3 on a per unit basis. They claim the additional CFRP costs are mostly offset by lowering the battery costs. As battery costs continue to go down and energy density increases, this offset will decrease. But, I still think people will want carbon fiber EVs with all of the latest technology, except for the lowest segment of the market.

Tesla insists no battery breakthrough is necessary to meet the goals of the Gen III, based on their pack configuration. Elon recently hung up on one reporter who questioned this. Just going from the 3300 MAH cells in the model S to the new 4100 MAH cells would help a lot. Within three years, these cells should exceed 6000 MAH. With that type of density, a 40KWh pack could probably squeeze 200 miles from a lightweight Gen III. This pack would cost Tesla less than $5K. For everyone else using large format cells and steel cars, they are definitely going to need a breakthrough. I see Envia Systems as having the most promising chemistry, but who knows?

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