Presented simultaneously in London, New York and Beijing, the car costs about 36 thousand euro. The sales start in November

LONDON – At the end also marks the last barrier. In an event held simultaneously in London (where we are), New York and Beijing, BMW presents the final version of the new i3 electric, ready for market launch set for November. The Corriere della Sera had already tried the i3 (125 kW or 170 horsepower, 250 Nm of torque and top speed is electronically limited to 150 km / h) in a first test drive at the gates of Monaco still camouflaged version, now l London is useful opportunity to take stock of the big challenge facing the German electricity.

THE CHALLENGE OF SUSTAINABILITY – The i3 is produced using only renewable energy derived from three large wind turbines close to the Leipzig plant, where it exits the car. Impact energy and zero km. Not only that: the carbon fiber, used for the lower part of the frame, is produced in the United States with hydropower. Considering the complete life cycle of the vehicle from production to scrapping going to use, will issue an i3 half of the CO2 emissions of a BMW 1 Series 118d version.


Make ends meet – Then there is the economic sustainability of the project: “Nothing to lose sales, earn money from the first i3 sold,” says Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing for BMW. In the future, then will come the volumes and economies of scale: “In 2010, only 7,000 were sold in the electrical world. This year will be about 150 thousand. In 2020 is likely to come to a share of electric vehicles equal to 3% of the global market ( more than 2 million vehicles, ed ), “says Robertson. The German manager is safe then: “In 2014 we will be the market leader in power.” All this despite the price: from € 36.200.

ALSO IN LEASING – “The formula of sale will be very flexible: you can buy the car or have it completely in installments of leasing.” For now, however, the primary sales channel is the traditional one, joined in part from the Internet: “The car will be sold in dealerships Bmw 580 of about 3,000, all located in large urban centers.” A dozen in Italy. The main market, at least initially, “it will be California.”

NOT ONLY I3 – Next year will come the i8 plug-in hybrid then it’s up to a scooter and in any case “in the next few years, the sub-brand will be extended with new models created specifically for electric traction,” continues Robertson . In other words: you can go from one up to a i9 i1. No problem for autonomy: lithium cells provide 160 km. Sufficient because so far “those who have used our test fleet of electric Mini and 1 Series has traveled an average of about 45 km per day. In general, even with traditional car, the daily average is 64 km ‘, says Herbert Diess, head of development BMW.

The ace in the hole – Then there is the trump card: the i3 you can buy with a small 2-cylinder petrol engine of 650 cc 34 horsepower (positioned behind the electric side), the same as that used on the scooter C600 Sport, able to produce the necessary current to the electric batteries in case of extending the range up to 300 km. The reported consumption of the cylinder during the “charging” are minimized: 0.6 liters per 100 km with CO2 emissions of 13 grams per kilometer. At what cost? Robertson still is cautious: “The range extender version will cost only a few thousand euro more.” Probably 10% of the list price more, about 40,000 Euros.