The Bavarian Motor Works handed over the first batch in, surprise, Bavaria, where 46 special "i agents" picked up their cars at BMW Welt late last week. The Bavarian State Chancellery was among the first customers, and State Minister Christine Haderthauer said at the ceremony that the i3 is, "typical BMW and typical Bavaria."
The electric vehicle officially became available in Germany and "selected" other European markets on November 16th (America and Asian markets will get the i3 in 2014). Talking to BMW represents at EVS27 in Barcelona this week, we heard that at least 80 i3s are now roaming the streets in Germany. And this is just the beginning.
First electric vehicles presented to the customers
Munich. The BMW i3 will be available in Germany and selected European markets from the 16 November. The first customers from Germany collected their cars from the BMW Welt in Munich a day earlier. The keys were formally presented by Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW and Roland Krüger, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing Germany for the BMW Group, in a special ceremony. The head of the Bavarian State Chancellor's Office and State Minister for Federal Affairs and Special Tasks, Christine Haderthauer, and Member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE, Oliver Bäte, were also among the first BMW i customers.
"Today marks a milestone in the history of the BMW Group, as we hand over our first BMW i premium electric vehicle to customers. In doing so, we are bringing sustainable mobility to the roads," said Ian Robertson during presentation of the keys.
"Innovative vehicles need innovative distribution channels. For this reason, the BMW i3 can now also be ordered over the phone and online. However, the most important role in distribution is still that of our retail partners. We are delighted to have 46 carefully chosen BMW i agents in Germany, who are investing in the future of BMW i with us," added Roland Krüger.
Over the coming months, the BMW i3 will be introduced in a large number of European markets. In 2014, the BMW i3 will also be launched in the US, Japan, China and Korea.
"The BMW i3 is typical BMW and typical Bavaria. It combines Top Innovation, Top Design and Top Sustainability. This is why we are convinced that the Bavarian State Chancellery should be one of the first customers. Emission free electro-mobility thanks to the BMW i3, this concept will be a great success and a Bavarian export hit. The future of auto-mobility begins now and it is white and blue", noted State Minister Christine Haderthauer.
Electro-mobility also in demand for business fleets
The BMW i3 appeals to fleet customers as well as retail customers. Electric vehicles offer efficient, sustainable solutions for a complementary mix of drive trains in company fleets. Allianz SE is one of the first BMW i3 fleet customers. "By integrating E-cards into the Allianz fleet, we are supporting the mobility solutions of today and tomorrow. We want to increase the acceptance of E-cars," says Oliver Bäte Member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE on the collection of his car. "Currently, already 10% of our management fleet have E-vehicles; this is how we bring the future on to the road. The reactions of staff and clients are all very positive. Driving on electricity is something good – and it's even fun."
The BMW Group's fleet management and leasing specialist, Alphabet, has developed a product called "AlphaElectric" to meet the special requirements of its fleet customers. The first comprehensive E-mobility solution on the market offers smooth integration of electric vehicles into company fleets in just three steps: analysis of the customer's mobility profile; definition of appropriate charging infrastructure; and the flexible combination of add-on services.
Gerhard Eble, Managing Director of Innovative Hausverwaltungen Eble (Ratingen):
"For years I have wanted for a German manufacturer to bring an appealing electric car to the market. As soon as BMW introduced the BMW i3, I was immediately enthusiastic."
Dr. Ingo Holz, Managing Director of BEOS AG (Berlin):
"As soon as BMW unveiled the BMW i3 study two years ago, straight away I was excited and soon after ordered the car. Two years later I am able to sit behind the wheel."
Dr. Roman Dudenhausen, Founder and Member of the Board of Directors con/energy ag (Essen):
"My electro-age as an energy expert and employer is beginning with my purchase of the BMW. I am pleased to be one of the first to be able to use the completely newly developed car that stands for systematic sustainability."
Thomas Aich (Ettlingen):
"I drive a lot all around town. Therefore, the efficient BMW i3 is obviously optimal for me."
The BMW i3
The BMW i3 is the BMW Group's first series-produced electric vehicle and represents a new type of sustainable mobility for urban areas. The concept, with its unique vehicle architecture, also calls for the use of modern, lightweight materials, such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), and innovative and pioneering production processes.
With a range of 130 to 160 kilometres, the BMW i3 meets the mobility needs of customers in urban areas. Charging can be done at home, at work or at public charging stations.
The BMW Group also offers a comprehensive "360° ELECTRIC" product and service package for the BMW i3, based on four pillars: home charging; charging at public charging stations; guaranteed mobility; and integration of innovative mobility concepts. These include services such as the BMW i Wallbox Pure for rapid vehicle charging at home; extensive ConnectedDrive functions in the car itself for smart phones; as well as the ChargeNow card, which assures drivers unlimited access to public charging infrastructure on the go.
Furthermore, BMW i is working towards expanding the public charging infrastructure, including convenient reservation and payment systems in conjunction with its various partners.
The BMW Group The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2012, the BMW Group sold about 1.85 million cars and more than 117,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85 billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.