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  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
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  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
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  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
Americans can't quite fully enjoy the BMW i3 for themselves quite yet, but the first few German EV fans are now out there driving around in an a BMW of their very own.

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.
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BMW i3 market launch

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Conspiracy theory
      • 3 Months Ago
      Wish it came in monochrome. That two tone color scheme is half the problem with the I3. The other half being price.
        jeff
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Conspiracy theory
        Solid black would be nice. The dark grey with black accents show kind of how it would look...
          Spec
          • 3 Months Ago
          @jeff
          I agree. I can't get over the fact that the front looks like 2 different cars mashed together. And the 2-tone paint job highlights it.
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Months Ago
      Good luck to BMW ! The i3 will prove to be a great addition to EV motoring. I'm curious to see how many are ordered with the RE option.
        Hal
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        We should take a poll on that. I'm ordering the BEV model.
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Months Ago
      @ Hal Good for you, I'm sure you'll be really pleased with your choice.
      Hal
      • 3 Months Ago
      Wish we didn't have to wait until May here in the US.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Months Ago
      What percentage of these i3 are fitted with the range extender. There is the leaf without range extender and there is the volt with range extender but on the i3 the range extender is an option. It will be nice to know what is the exact percentage cuz in 2025 i might be looking for a 2014 model on the used market. Here in this website the used market is not cover, why?
        Spec
        • 3 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        That is up to what the consumers decide. We'll see. I've seen reports that the majority of them will come with the range extender. But who knows? I think we need to learn more about it . . . can power the vehicle at full freeway speed? If so, that's good. I wouldn't mind if it struggles up hills a bit . . . deal with it.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Spec
          They've castrated the RE to comply with Californian regulations. To speed 68mph as well as that tiny tank: http://www.plugincars.com/test-driving-bmw-i3-128868.html The BMW could have been so much more than it is if they had not chased compliance, the first genuine 200 mile range car with Leaf-like EV range at way less than the Tesla. As it is, the RE is strictly that, and unnecessarily limited.
      Hal
      • 3 Months Ago
      Thanks.
      Spec
      • 3 Months Ago
      I hope BMW meets great success with this vehicle. I am disappointed with the . . . uh . . . unconventional design but the composite materials and tiny range-extender innovations are very interesting. And I hope they start supporting SAE-CCS charger installations. Those will be very important for this vehicle.
        JakeY
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Spec
        VW and BMW each have one in Germany already. I also heard that each "i" dealer will also have one installed.
      vazzedup
      • 3 Months Ago
      Really like the look, tired of all the 'same' care designs, great to see something different. Wish I could afford one when it lands stateside.
      Michael Walsh
      • 3 Months Ago
      Mr. White would like it, I'm sure.
      Grendal
      • 3 Months Ago
      I hope this is a great success for BMW. I also hope that for the next version they spend a little effort to make it more cool looking. Somewhere between this (ugly) and the i8 (super cool) would probably sell a lot more.
      Vlad
      • 3 Months Ago
      Interesting car in so many respects. And I do like the looks. If it is here by the end of my Leaf lease I might even get it.
      jeff
      • 3 Months Ago
      Can't wait. I'll order one as soon as BMW opens up the order entry system here in the US....
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