BMW Australia has announced on-sale (November 2014) and pricing (from $63,900+ORC) details for the release of the BMW i3 electric vehicle.

BMW AUSTRALIA WILL SEEMINGLY GO head-to-head with the local release of another electric vehicle, the Tesla Model S which arrives in Australia later this year. The exact timing of that car’s local release remain hazy, but you can expect it before the of the year.

In a statement to the media, BMW Australia suggested the BMW i3 was the world’s first electric car to be conceived as purely an electric vehicle. But, surely that honour belongs to the Tesla Model S. Semantics aside, Phil Horton, managing director at BMW Group Australia said, the BMW i3 offering will change the perception of electric mobility in Australia.

“With its revolutionary design, innovative construction and heavy focus on sustainability the BMW i3 in itself is a compelling proposition,’ he said.

“Add to this the innovative mobility services on offer with BMW 360 ELECTRIC and BMW ConnectedDrive and the benefits for the BMW i3 become crystal clear” said Horton.

The BMW i3 will be available in Australia in two guises, as a pure battery electric vehicle and, for customers particularly conscious of ‘range anxiety,’ it will also be available with a range extender.

A 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine producing 27kW, mounted adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle performs the role of range extender. The engine drives a generator for the purpose of maintaining the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level.

BMW Group Australia has listed the all-electric BMW i3 (BEV) from $63,900 (+ORC), while the BMW i3 (REx) with range extender lists from $69,900 (+ORC).  Six unique paint colours and three alloy wheel designs will be available for the BMW i3. In addition to the purchase price, buyers will also have to face buying a genuine BMW wall charging unit (BMW i Wallbox Pure) for their home (which guarantees a shorter charging time of 6 hours), or using the occasional cable which will be supplied as a no-cost accessory, this will provide a charging time of 11 hours and can be used from most domestic wall sockets.

Fast Facts:

BMW i3

0 to 60 km/h in 3.7 seconds

0–100 km/h in 7.2 seconds

Acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in 4.9 seconds

Top speed: 150 km/h (limited, to maximise range).

Maximum range in everyday driving between 130 km and 160 km (Comfort mode)

CO2 0g/km

BMW i3 with range extender

0 to 60 km/h in 3.9 seconds,

0–100 km/h in 7.9 seconds

Acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in 5.5 seconds

Top speed: 150 km/h (limited, to maximise range).

Maximum range in everyday driving between 240 km and 300 km (Comfort mode)

With range extender engine in use:

CO2 emissions of 13g/km

Fuel consumption of 0.6 l/100 km’s


The BMW i3 has been designed for driving and commuting in urban environments and the sales and service network for BMW i vehicles has been nominated to reflect this. From the commencement of sales there will be four BMW i selling dealers operating in Australia; BMW Melbourne in Southbank, Melbourne; BMW Sydney in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney; Brisbane BMW in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane and Auto Classic in Victoria Park, Perth. At the end of the first quarter 2015 a further two sales dealers in Adelaide and Canberra will join the BMW i network. On top of the authorised BMW i sales dealerships, service and repairs will be available on the BMW i3 through a selection of up to 10 existing BMW dealerships all positioned in areas appropriate for BMW i ownership.

Practical Motoring will explore the technical aspects of the BMW i3 and how it compares to other electric vehicles either already on the Australian market, or coming soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think of BMW’s decision to release the BMW i3 … is the price still too high to see electric vehicles catch on?




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