BMW Joins the Electric Car Race
July 31, 2013 Leave a comment
BMW has joined the electric car club with the release of its new i3, which will be available to consumers for a whopping $41,350. In a time when emissions standards are getting stricter, BMW is smart to make the move towards all electric.
The new model will come with some unconventional additions, such as the “add-on mobility” feature, which will allow customers to book a full-sized X5 SUV for several weeks each year to take family vacations in or use as a back-up vehicle when the i3 just won’t cut it. As one of the main concerns of driving an all-electric vehicle is running out of charge and getting stuck with a dead battery, this feature and others offered with the i3 should help alleviate some of those concerns.
Also unlike other electric vehicles, the i3 has been constructed completely from scratch. Whereas other companies modified existing car models to become electric, the i3 has only ever been, and will only ever be, electric. This, has allowed for better design and focus on efficiency.
BMW says it expects the i3 to be profitable from the start, but that doesn’t mean they won’t face an uphill battle. Electric vehicles have less power and cost more than conventional vehicles, and consumers have been wary to switch over thus far. The i3 will cost about 27% more than BMW’s 3-Series sedan. The price gap is lowering, certainly, but it’s still present enough to lower sales.
Electric vehicles certainly have hype behind them, but slow sales on past models make for pessimistic predictions. That, ironically, is good news for BMW—since the less people expect, the easier it will be to pleasantly surprise them.