A Sneak Peak at BMW’s New i3 Electric Car [PICTURES]
The LA Auto Show is just around the corner now, starting in just a little over a week. Normally this nationally recognized event is the public’s first chance to see the latest and greatest from auto manufacturers all over the world.
This afternoon Northern Coloradoan’s were treated to a sneak peak of the brand new i3, BMW’s first entry into the electric car arena. The company decided to make a special stop in our region at Co’s BMW in Loveland on their way to the LA Auto Show.
If you have watched the news lately, you probably know that the Northern Colorado area is one of only a few regions where extensive planning is taking place to accommodate for the use of electric vehicles. In fact there are already a decent number of charging stations that have started popping up from locations including breweries, parks, museums, hotels and more. That number continues to grow, and this afternoon Jay Hardy, Vice President and General Manager of the Centerra master planned community, announced plans to install three electric vehicle chargers throughout the development.
An organization called Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) is helping to make this possible by informing consumers, creating partnerships and developing the needed infrastructure in Northern Colorado to make it easier for consumers to own electric vehicles. The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, non-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that reduce America’s dependence on oil by facilitating the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. Results are already being seen in our area with electric vehicle purchase rates far above the national average according to DENC.
It is exciting to be leading the nation when it comes to utilizing these innovative new vehicles. Here is a look inside of the new i3 from BMW dring today’s unveiling…
The BMW i3 is unlike any other electric vehicle; instead of building upon an existing model, BMW has built the electric vehicle from the ground up. With a full charge, the vehicle is said to travel 120 miles and is available with a range extender that can double that distance. Eight batteries are coupled together to power the car.
BMW didn’t compromise when it came to vehicle performance; the i3 utilizes carbon fiber to achieve light weight and great strength. Even though it’s electric, the vehicle still lives up to the BMW reputation in every way.
When building the i3, BMW kept the idea of sustainability in mind at every turn. They estimate that when the vehicle reaches the end of its usable life, 98% of the materials from the car can be recycled. In fact many of the plastics used to build the car are from recycled material. The manufacturing facilities are even run off of hydroelectric and solar power.
Michael Dunlap of BMW North America stated that this was a pre-production vehicle. He estimates that the BMW i3 will be available for sale in March or April of 2014. We were told that the model we saw would have a price tag of $41,350. There is a nationally available tax credit of $7,500 and an additional credit of up to $6,000 for those living in Colorado. These incentives help to make the vehicle very attractive.
The dash of the i3 looks beautiful in true BMW style. The wood that you see on the dash is recycled eucalyptus. BMW even used a special process to treat the leather in the vehicle, forgoing traditional dyes and relying on natural olive oils.