2014 BMW i3 Finally Priced in U.S: $42,275 Pre-Incentives

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With just a week to go before the production version of BMW's i3 electric car is revealed, the German automaker has announced pricing for the car.

The 2014 BMW i3 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $41,350, before BMW's $925 destination fee--for a starting price of $42,275.

That's also the car's true price before any Federal tax credits or local incentives--BMW has wisely chosen not to use deceptive "net pricing"--so eligible buyers may be able to get their i3 a lower effective total cost.

The $42,000 price tag pretty much matches our own prediction of $42,000-$46,000 for the i3, which BMW had previously said would match that of a well-equipped 3-Series.

What hasn't been announced is how much the extended-range i3 'ReX' will go for. The i3 will be available with the option of a 650cc, 34-horsepower motorcycle-derived twin-cylinder gasoline engine to extend the i3's estimated 80-100 mile range to nearer 180 miles. Pricing for this model will likely be announced closer to the model's launch.

The ReX will otherwise share its 170-horsepower, 184 lb-ft electric drivetrain and 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with the regular i3.

Performance will be sprightly, BMW claiming a benchmark 0-60 mph figure of "around 7 seconds", reaching 35 mph in just 3.5 seconds from rest--enough to surprise plenty of traffic at the lights, we'd wager.

Eco modes will help i3 drivers extend their range, while the company promises strong regenerative braking allowing "one-pedal" driving at lower speeds.

BMW recently released information about the  2014 BMW i3's specifications as well as some details of its connectivity and infotainment features as well.

"The BMW i3 heralds the dawn of a new era for individual mobility and for the BMW Group. True to a genuine BMW, the BMW i3 has strong emotional appeal, outstanding product substance and a guarantee of sheer driving pleasure," said BMW's sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson.

"With this leading-edge vehicle and attractive price, we will provide customers with a compelling offer for electromobility."

The BMW i3 makes its worldwide debut in New York, London and Beijing on Monday 29, and arrives in showrooms in the second quarter 2014.


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Comments (57)
  1. That's exactly where I thought the price would be, I kept guessing around 42k. And that's actually very good considering it's a luxury brand and the carbon fiber safety cell. The base price isn't far off from a top spec Nissan Leaf. I can't wait to get my i3!

  2. Bravo to BMW!

    In California the i3 will begin at a net cost of $31,350 (before destination and handling charges).
    BMW has always said it would be comparable to a mid to high range BMW 3 series and less than a 5 series. Not only did they hit their mark, it is lower than the MSRP of the least expensive 3 series.

    Amazing accomplishment for a car that redefines completely the composition and materials used to construct an automobile.
    One more time….Bravo BMW!

    2013 BMW 3 series price: MSRP: $32,550 – $68,750
    2013 BMW 5 series price: MSRP: $47,800 – $70,100

    85,000 miles of sunshine powered driving

  3. @Peder: "Net cost" ... Remember, a buyer must finance the FULL purchase price. CA purchase rebate checks at least arrive within several weeks, but the Federal income-tax credit can take up to 15 months to be realized--depending on when you purchase and when you file that year's taxes.

    We've criticized other makers for stating net prices, and BMW laudably has NOT done that.


    So I had hoped readers would not fall into the same trap of blithely tossing around "net cost" without very clearly identifying what that really means. Especially those as knowledgeable as you are!

  4. Yep, for the record, I was never able to get the $2500 rebate on my Prius (years ago) due to my personal tax situation. Hopefully others don't have the same issue.

  5. $7,500 Federal tax credit is individual based. But the $2,500 CA state rebates if for anyon who buy or lease the car for at least 3 years regardless income or deduction level...

  6. Not a tax expert, but if you need the $7500 sooner, aren't you able to adjust your estimated tax payments (which are usually done automatically by your employer)? If so, this would mean that you get it back within something like 3 months.

  7. Generally, most people won't be able to get it back in 3 months. You can adjust your withholding, yes, but the average person doesn't have so much tax liability that they can push forward $7,500 in federal withholding that quickly.

  8. How soon before the GCR staff gets to drive it? Can't wait to hear some first hand reporting.

  9. Yup. Congrats, BMW!!! But I still would rather lease than buy... And more details on the ReX version and other options--like buying/leasing the non-Rex i3 but having access to other non-EV BMWs for the occasional longer road trips!

  10. For that money I can have an all composite body/chassis 64 Vette Split window Coupe EV built that would clean the BMW's clock. Another is use a Factory5 rolling chassis the same.

    With Miata suspension because it'll only weight 2,000lbs, lux interior, faster than this one easily, a 200 mile battery range and range extender built with change left over, about $10k.

    The question is why they can't build cars cheaper than custom built? Isn't that what big auto should be able to do?

    And yes I've priced it completely out and do EV's and composites for a living.

    We don't need another overpriced, teched EV. We need lightweight 2 seat commuter EV's first. But they last near forever and cut their other sales.

  11. $20,000 - Factory Five '65 Coupe kit
    $5,000 - HPEVS AC50 motor/controller (yes, it'd beat the i3, but pale in comparison to the Coupe. To meet or exceed those performance specs, you'd need the HPEVS AC35x2 at $9,000)
    $15,000 - LiFePO4 batteries that'll give a 100mi range within a safe DOD
    $5,000 - wiring, throttle, fuses, electric vacuum pumps
    $??,??? - time or cost to pay someone to put it all together

    So at least $45,000 and you're still left with clunky, hackmead instrumentation in the dashboard. Sure, you get great style and performance (except range & recharge). But it doesn't stack up to a Tesla or even the i3, though it is superior to the Leaf, Spark, or any other OEM's BEV attempt.

  12. Well said.

  13. Because BMW pays its German workers 10x the salary of Mexicans or Chinese?

  14. Very few people want or can live with 2-seat cars. Most people need 4 or 5 seats. I drive solo to work now, but for many years I dropped my kids off at school on the way.

    I also don't think kit or custom cars are realistic for most people. The average driver can't even change their own oil. I guess this is another reason why EVs are so awesome.

  15. So you are saying that EV-1 isn't practical with 2-seat only?

    OMG, please don't say that to those who still can't let it go for the past 20 years... You will get flamed for it...

  16. That is very well priced. If the REx performance is decent and priced nicely, it will put a serious dent in the Leaf and Volt sales.

    BTW, is there a production target or cap on the i3?

    Also, I am curious with the SparkEV and i3 using the same A123 battery, can the new A123 keep up with the battery demand? I thought one of the reason that SparkEV production number is limited is due to the A123 battery production limit.

  17. BMW has said they will have the ability to make 40,000 i3's per year.

    They don't use the same batteries. The i3 uses large format Lithium-ion cells with a nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry made by Samsung. The same batteries currently in the ActiveE

  18. I thought all the BMW EVs use the A123 cells. Where is your source on the battery?

  19. @Xiaolong: Tom is correct. The A123 cells in the hybrids are power cells, but the Samsung cells in the i3 are energy cells--different chemistries.

  20. What type of Samsung Cells are those? I mean what type of Li-ion is it?

  21. Here is one source.
    "They are newly developed Lithium-ion cells which will be using a nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry made by SB-Limotive. SB-Limotive is a joint venture of Korean conglomerate Samsung and German parts giant Bosch. "

  22. Thanks for the info...

    That is interesting. NMC is the newer and improved version of LMO.

  23. The pack allows for cellular replacement but despite that are because of that is only warranted for barely five dozen thousand miles or less then a year in carsharing fleet use despite being engineered to be for the life of the vehicle. The link provided as source is old and subtly apparenlty acknowledged as erroneous as bosh is nolonger involved if that partnership did disolve. For some reason google is not indexing pdf's from industry weekly I guess there respecting robot instructions of it but those seem absurdly short sighted. Welcome to the disposable electric car- an antidote to private purcashe and exclusive use disruption apparenlty, so I stand correctedd, however: there decision to make the packs themselves means our question...

  24. .. as i was saying... "supplier" is generic, they can and likely will if not are using it for the fast charging option. With cellular failures being diagnosed it means the expected loss of range is asddressed as failing cells are like dirty air filters and regular maintenance will retore performance largely but more importantly forensic ananlysis of cell failure will quickl yevolve pack design and supplier competition. I can see them sourcing different section of the pack from different suppliers if certian sections fail more often and the publically owned supplier can or can ont best supply that grade. What is very sad is that BMW was able to keep pack engineering in house despite billions invested in truth be told THAT by us, USA, etc.

  25. I suspect minimal impact on both Leaf and Volt sales. U.S.-targeted production of this vehicle is going to be

  26. It is not so much the price, it is the whole value proposition. The i3 with its city-oriented design and 90-mile EV range seems rather expensive at $42k.

    The Model S at $73k also seems rather expensive at first, but with its full size design and 265-mile range it suddenly does not.

    And if we compare the i3 with the LEAF or the Fit EV or the Spark EV, all of which have a similar range at a significantly lower cost, it seems like a worse proposition.

    And if we really drive a "carbon fiber" stake through the i3's heart the $50k RAV4 EV with its utility and range, it seems to really hurt.

    In short at this point I am disappointed that the i3 with its dedicated and innovative design could not push the range significantly over 100 EV miles.

  27. Correction, your $73k price is quoted after the $7,500 federal tax incentive, the $42k price is pre-federal tax credits.

    The it is more a $80k Tesla that goes 265 miles vs. a $42k i3 that goes about 90 miles.

    Also, i3 might be the FASTEST BEV under $45k.

  28. I don't think the i3 is expensive at all at $42K. The Volt, LEAF and Focus EV all cost $40K when they came out and only the LEAF is way cheaper now. None of these cars are made of carbon fiber, have an aluminum frame or can do 0-60 in 7 seconds. Plus, it should have much better EV range, with the Eco+ mode. If the REx really only costs an extra $2K, this will be a great deal.

  29. True, but GM is running $4k discount on the Volt and Nissan has $199/month lease.

  30. It's an electric beamer. People who buy BMW in general are not worried about cost. Although, at $35K effective price it's not far off the Volt. Oh yes, people who buy beamers will typically have no problem getting the full $7500 federal tax credit.

  31. Bring it!

  32. Depending on the price of the REX and options, a Tesla 60kW Model X may be a better value. Regardless, it's good to have options, particularly in the SUV category. 2014 will be an exciting year for electrified SUV's (Outlander PHEV, Model X, i3,and hoping for a Volt SUV)

  33. From the looks of the silhouette, it looks like a Leaf. I'm loving my Volt more than ever now.

  34. Are we looking at the same silhouette here Dan?...

  35. Is the i3 going to be available in all states or just CA and Pacific NW again?

  36. One complain I have against the i3 so far is the charging port location. Why can't BMW put it on the driver's side front or near the front of the car? You can't always back into the spot. Some of the parking location are slanted and one way...

  37. We have a Volt, a Leaf, and the 85kw Model S, standard. I am very likely to replace the Volt with the i3.

    The i3 has more than TWICE the EV range of the Volt and should get much better mileage when that 650cc engine kicks in to extend the pure EV range. We really like our Volt, but have always wanted more pure emission-free range; the i3 seems to offer exactly that, and it will be quicker 0-60 mph as well.

  38. Actually the i3 will be worse in gas MPG in extended range.

    With 2-3 gallon that only goes 90 miles is a MPG that is worse than Volt's 40 mpg hwy.

    Also, we don't know what performance is like in the REx mode.

    But you are right that i3 will be faster and probably handles better due to lower weight.

  39. The state of Georgia has a $5000 tax credit for pure BEVs. Just wondering if that Rex can be dealer installed later on a non-Rex model. This seems like it would be a good option for people who are certain about their range needs.

  40. NOT certain, I meant.

  41. It seems very unlikely it will be installable post factory... But I don't want to say that definitively.

  42. we should get rid of tax rebates altogether. it gives certain groups of people advantages over others.

    if we want the govt involved in the bev industry, all that is needed is to do what california is doing - apply a percentage of sales to the carmakers.

    no buying or selling of credits. all sales of new cars by all companies must be accompanied by a percentage of electric vehicles.

    and i will give hybrids a percentage, based upon the electricity.

    for example, the volt is able to go 30 miles before using gas. i think that is worth 1/2 point. other hybrids, like the prius, would get some sort of pointage, while of course the bev gets one point, cuz it runs entirely on electricity.

    that is the fairest and best way to grow bevs.

  43. and get us off oil. so we dont have to send any more kids over to fight the bigwig's oil wars. so we can better our environment, etc.

  44. All gasoline range extended vehicles are somewhat dependent on gasoline once the battery is depleted. Only Tesla and the Nissan Leaf as well as some of the electric only Compliance cars are totally free from burning gasoline. It seems like a sporty nice small two seater that should offer about 70miles on BEV alone and offer a motorcycle derived range extender gas engine generator for additional driving. I could see greater than 50mpg or better in range extend gasoline mode so it will be a nice range extended BEV. Tesla is still the king of the big capacity EV only though.

  45. @Mark: The BMW i3 holds four adults. It's not a two-seater.

  46. Thanks John, I like that it holds 4 adults. I am looking forward to the unveiling later this week by BMW. I heard that it can do almost as many miles as a Nissan Leaf in electric mode and you can drive it on gasoline after the battery is depleted. It sounds like it could be a good seller for BMW since it should be stylish and with a 7 second 0-60mph it offers decent enough performance as well. I really am glad BMW is not making an electric econobox and it will be interesting to see how well it really performs since I can see the traditional automakers using this approach to achieve new Federal CAFE standards before adopting full EV designs.

  47. @Mark,

    "I could see greater than 50mpg or better in range extend gasoline mode "

    Where did you get that? From anywhere I see the gas tank is about 3 gallons and the gas range is less than 90 miles. By those numbers, the extended range is no better than 30 MPG...

  48. @Xiaolong, only 30mpg in extended range. That is not very good at all and the Chevy Volt does 35mpg in extended range and seats 4 adults quite comfortably. A 3 gallon gas tank is really small too? why would it be so small if they are going with the trouble of adding a gasoline engine to be range extender?. Why not at least 10 gallons or so to make it worth while. Either way it seems like a nice vehicle and could sell well for BMW if it's performance is good as they say it is and of course its gas mileage is really good too when running in extended range mode.

  49. @Mark: The gas tank is limited to 3 gallons so the car's range using the gasoline range extender will be certified as lower than its electric range. This permits the car to be certified as a "BEVx" rather than a PHEV, meaning it gets different regulatory treatment in California.

    It's a decision by BMW to design to regulations, rather than for what customers may desire.

    And, as noted elsewhere, we don't yet know how different the performance in range-extending mode will be from the performance on battery power.

  50. We already spend millions upon millions of dollars in oil subsidies to artificially keep gas prices down. I don't see why EV subsidies are any worse.

  51. @EV Enthusiast,

    "for example, the volt is able to go 30 miles before using gas"

    By the same logic and reasoning that Leaf is able to travel 60 miles before it needs tow truck...

    I like way how you like to twist the facts... System analyst who still thinks that people will buy a 50 miles Electric Camry over a regular Camry for the same price...

  52. you never use correct reasoning in your arguments.

    i was talking about how to give credits on a car, based upon the amount of electricity used.

    whether it needs a tow truck afterwards has no bearing on the situation at hand.

    and absolutely - an average marketing person would have no problem selling a 50-mile camry at the same price as a regular camry.

    so now we know that you are not good at marketing or systems analysis.

    would you like to demonstrate anything else that you are not good at ?

  53. This car spells trouble for Tesla, in particular, since it's reportedly a better and more advanced vehicle than the Model S, has a proven prestige nameplate, and costs way less than half of a Model S. Owners also are not tied to a company-store system of recharge stations, and the buyer has a competitive choice with several dealerships to choose from, unlike Tesla's Big Brother system of ownership. It also avoids the colossal price of a new battery pack down the road, which Model S owners are usually not aware of. Not only is this added competition for what was up til now, a Tesla monopoly, but as more automakers produce electrics, Tesla's extortionary per CA car receipts diminish.

  54. we need more cars to compete with the leaf. and start out reaching to other vehicle-types, when possible.

  55. @Kent: Please feel free to cite actual *sources* for the reports that the BMW i3 is a "better and more advanced vehicle than the Model S," since no journalist has yet driven one AFAIK.

    Web links to the relevant articles will suffice.

    Otherwise, it's no more than your customary unsupported opinion in the usual negative vein.

  56. i3 doesn't even come close to the Model S in the performance, handling, EV range, capacity or handling.

    The only thing it is better is the price. But you get what you pay for.

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