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BMW i3 electric comes with $42,275 sticker, high hopes

July 22, 2013

A week from today, BMW will unveil the production version of the i3, its first purpose-built electric car and perhaps the most technologically advanced EV built by an established automaker to date. Ahead of that reveal, BMW unveiled the i3's price tag — and while it's not cheap for a second car, it's still less expensive than a few other electron-powered models.

BMW says the i3 will retail for $42,275 including the delivery fee of $925, before any federal or state incentives. Given the size of its 22-kWh battery, the i3 should qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. That puts the i3, which should have a range of roughly 100 miles, close to the price of the Chevy Volt and Ford Focus EV, and even undercuts by thousands the price of the Toyota RAV4.

Unlike all except the Volt, the i3 is a custom-designed electric, and BMW appears serious about building a mass-market EV, something only GM, Nissan and Tesla have accomplished to date. We'll see the real deal next Monday.