BMW i3 Could Carry Price Tag of $44,000-Plus

By · July 11, 2012

BMW i3

According to reports, the production BMW i3 will be priced between $44,000 and $50,000.

German magazine Automobilwoche reports that the BMW i3 will cost roughly $44,000 to $50,000 depending on available option packages. As Automobilwoche reports, the pricing information comes from "sources close to the Munich-based automaker."

The BMW i3 is expected to launch sometime in 2014. If this pricing level proves to be true, then the small electric urban commuter will be as expensive as BMW's entry-level midsize sedan, the BMW 5-Series.

The BMW i3 seats four adult occupants and features a cargo hold with seven cubic feet of useable space. The i3 hatchback measures 151 inches in length and is 79 inches wide—which means it's a bit bigger than the current Mini Cooper.

The i3 features an electric motor rated at 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims that the i3 zips from 0 to 62 miles per hour in under 8 seconds and will have a single-charge range of between 85 and 100 miles.


· · 5 years ago

$44-50k is not an issue as long as the i3 has a three digit + EPA range.

· George Parrott (not verified) · 5 years ago

Old "news."

But who would have projected i3 base pricing much off this $45,000 territory? Carbon fiber based body shell, 170 hp motor, 0-60 mph "under 8 seconds," etc.....

The engineering and design just totally lows away the $40,000 Ford Focus Electric, so the "value" seems there. I am just holding my breath to find out how much the range extending engine option will cost.

· · 5 years ago

I recently did a poll on my i3 blog that asked "How much would you be willing to pay for an i3?" Coincidentally, the poll lasted for a month and is ending today. It has had 317 votes and here are the results:

$50,000 to $52,500: 7 (2%)
$47,500 to $49,999: 7 (2%)
$45,000 to $47,499: 28 (8%)
$42,500 to $44,999: 103 (32%)
$40,000 to $42,499: 99 (31%)
Less than $40,000: 73 (23%)

It would seem most would be willing to pay in the $42,000 to $46,000 price range which is exactly where I expect the base i3 MSRP to fall.
If you look at the blog post, I listed some specifications along with the MSRP of competing EV's and it's clear the i3's (If my performance estimations are correct- and believe me they aren't complete guesses) performance figures, range, charging rate, top speed, and motor power are better than virtually every other electric vehicle that will be available when it launches, except for the Model S. I therefore think if BMW does position the price right in between the Ford Focus/ Nissan LEAF prices and the Model S 40kW price of $57,400 they will find a market there. If the base MSRP does come in at the higher end of the current speculation, say $47,500 to $49,500 then I think they will have a difficult time selling many of them.

Kei: I don't think the EPA figure is going to be in the triple digits. My guess is 92 which would still give it the longest range of anything that isn't named Tesla.

Also the i3 is going to launch in 2013(the rumor is September) as a 2014 model, not in 2014 as the article indicated and it's not 79 inches wide, that would be 2 inches wider than a Model S! I believe BMW listed the concept as 79 inches wide which includes the side mirrors. I think it's actually around 71"-72" wide.

Here is the link to my blog post on this if anyone is interested:

· Chris O (not verified) · 5 years ago

$44K....guess that would put it in the same price range as Tesla's upcoming small sedan, except that will probably have twice the range and look like a sportscar rather than a small hatchback. if only all choices in life were that easy...

· Chris O (not verified) · 5 years ago

....oops, just found out that Tesla's price target for the new 3 series contender is actually $30K. Maybe BMW should consider scratching the whole project....

· · 5 years ago

You might have an argument if you could actually buy the mysterious BlueStar but when the i3 launches next year, you won't even be able to buy an Model X yet, let alone the model following it. Sure you could wait another three or four years until you buy an EV, or you could buy whats available and trade up in 2016 when the BlueStar is available. Prices will fall across the board as time passes and if Tesla could make that car now they would because they would sell a hell of a lot more of them @$30,000 than they will the S @ an average price of $65,000. If you keep waiting for the next great EV, you'll never buy one because what's coming our in 3 years will always be better than what is available today.
I love what Teslas doing and am planning on buying a 60kW AWD X in 2014, but to bring up the Bluestar now and try to compare it to anything is fantasy.

· Chris O (not verified) · 5 years ago

The i3 isn't available yet either and Tesla's 3 series contender is supposed to hit the market by 2015, not 2016. By the time the i3 is actually available a lot more details about Bluestar will be available too. If Musk has made another bet by that time with Dan Neil confirming the numbers suggested so far, time for the i3 will run out fast. I agree though, that a lot of ifs, so carry on BMW!

· · 5 years ago

Will i3 support CHAdeMO or not ?

The answer to that question tells me how seriously I'd consider i3. Alternatively BMW can install a SAE fast charger wherever we have CHAdeMO charger by '14.

· · 5 years ago

EV: No it will not. SAE QC will be an option. I do think that a majority of the new quick charge stations are going to support both, and within 1 to 2 years all new installs will have both.

There isn't a single DC quick charge station within a thousand miles from where I am and I expect every QC station that is installed to support both, but I do understand the concern of those that live where there are some CHAdeMO units already. I'd bet they will be converted to dual use pretty soon. I'm going to try to find out in the infrastructure folks at BMW i have any insight into this. I know they have a whole team working exclusively on infrastructure issues.

Also, the 200 eVgo Freedom Stations that NRG will be installing in California will have both CHAdeMO & SAE connectors on all the units.

· · 5 years ago

@Tom: "There isn't a single DC quick charge station within a thousand miles from where I am"

Well, according to, there are 7 of them within a thousand miles from you - 1 in Toronto, ON (500 miles) and 6 in Chicago, IL (800 miles). Of course, this is a nit-pick because you aren't likely to drive 500 miles to a QC station in an i3. Unless you have the micro range-extender option...hmm...

My point is more that CHAdeMO is making more headway than most realize, and certainly isn't confined to the "West Coast Electric Highway" project. SAE QC will have an uphill battle when it finally gets cars/stations, but I think several manufacturers have it right - build a unit that serves both. After all, most gas stations also have a diesel pump. Why not CHAdeMO/SAE combo chargers?

· · 5 years ago


I didn't even consider looking into Canada and figured the IL spots to be the closest. I've driven there and my trip was 900+ miles so that's what I was basing it on. Anyway, 800 miles might as well be 1000 because I'd need a tow truck to get there!

My point is when I see Quick charge stations to start being installed in New Jersey, New York, Conn, Penn, etc, places where I can and need to drive to occasionally, I fully expect them to accept both standards. Now that there are two - whether the cars are actually here or not, I believe site owners will make sure their units support both. I think Tesla could have really settled this whole issue if they chose to support CHAdeMO, but I understand the reasons they decided to go it alone.

· · 5 years ago


" I'd bet they will be converted to dual use pretty soon."

Not unless BMW pays for the conversions.

SAE could have a chicken & egg problem here. Why would someone buy an EV that supports SAE when there are no SAE chargers here (and why would anyone install / upgrade to SAE when there are no EVs that support SAE here) ?

· · 5 years ago

Arizona-based GoE3 has promised approximately 500 Level 3 chargers across the country within the next 3 years . . .

Their Level 3 EVSEs are set up with modular components that allow any or all combination of existing Quick Charge standards (CHAdeMO, J1772 Combo, Tesla) to be housed within the same unit. As standards come and go (and they will,) only the affected circuit cards and plugs will need to be swapped out.

One assumes GoE3's competition will also adapt their EVSEs accordingly and/or upgrade units already deployed in the field (which is precious few right now) to accommodate different Level 3 stadards. The auto manufactures (ie: the problem children) are going to fight it out in regards to Level 3 standards for years to come, so it's going to be up to the EVSE manufacturers (ie: the responsible adults) to be chameleon-like and be able to provide equipment that will service any and all EVs that happen to drive up.

And, yes, for decades, we've had fuel pumps that feature both diesel and petroleum. Before that, leaded and unleaded gasoline was featured on many pumps. This business of multiple fuels at a single pump unit is actually a much more complex scenario, since you need dedicated storage tanks underneath the pump for each specific liquid fuel. If a station owner wanted to offer a different fuel, it involved digging up the pavement underneath and dropping in a new, very big storage tank.

A Level 3 EVSE, on the other hand, only needs a single power utility line coming in, where the electricity then gets routed to dedicated circuits and connectors. Assuming the EVSE is so equipped, upgrades to different charging standards should be only slightly more involved than swapping circuit cards and some cable/connectors.

· · 5 years ago

@Benjamin Nead · "Arizona-based GoE3 has promised approximately 500 Level 3 chargers across the country within the next 3 years . . ."

Well, Ecotality should have already installed a few hundred fast chargers by now - they even got the money from DOE. They have probably 2 chargers now :(

So, with QC I'll believe it when it happens.

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