BMW pegs i3 plug-in EV pricing at around $40,000 – close to that of a well-equipped 3 Series

BMW i3

We’ve long been wondering where BMW would go with pricing on its i3 electric hatch model. The answer – unofficially – is in: around $40,000. Will the i3 be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, though? BMW has not completed its discussions with the government on the matter. So don’t hold your breath.

That’s for the standard, three-door model, though. There are two other versions in the works: one with an onboard 0.65-liter two-cylinder motorcycle engine for on-the-go electricity generation and also a five-door version. What will those upgrades cost? No word yet. Expect a significant uptick for those variants, though. As we’ve seen, BMW loves to charge extra for goodies.

Speaking of which, BMW will offer a program to borrow a conventional gasoline or diesel-powered BMW model for extended trips – again at an additional package price.

It seems BMW isn’t worried about scaring away buyers. After all, only 57,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. last year and BMW’s North American CEO, Ludwig Willisch, doesn’t consider the i3 to be a volume car, according to an Automotive News report.

Following the i3 variants, BMW will put its i8 electric sports car on sale. The price of that will surely be in excess of $60,000.

BMW is also allowing any of its 338 dealers to opt out of the i3 and they have until June to decide. Willisch suspects only small or rural dealers will decline the i3 as the investment in training and tooling will outweigh the sales benefit.

Would you buy a $40,000 three-door BMW i3 EV over a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt? Tell us in the comment section below.

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