It’s official: the highly-anticipated BMW i3 electric hatchback will be available from just £30,625 (‘on the road’ price) before a £5,000 UK government grant when it goes on sale in the UK next year, with its range-extended sibling, the i3-REX, costing just £3,150 more.
A quick bit of simple maths shows that the Range Extender will cost you £3150 in the UK. With this only costing $4000 in the US, are UK buyers getting a bum deal when wanting to drive further?
This places the entry-level i3 and the i3-REX at a healthy price point in the market, making it more expensive than either the entry-level Nissan LEAF or Vauxhall Ampera, but certainly far less than a great deal of premium-market plug-in and petrol cars.
The low entry level price point for the luxury plug-in is the result of a pricing policy which matches the ordering process of another plug-in car: the Tesla Model S.
Like Tesla, BMW will make its car available to order online. And like Tesla, BMW allows customers to build their own custom car from scratch. Instead of requiring drivers to opt for a specific trim level for an arbitrary amount, BMW prices customers’ cars by taking the base-model vehicle and then adding the features the customers want.
For example, the i3 comes with 32A charging (~7.4 kW) as standard – which we think is brilliant. But if you want to add a Combined Charging System DC 50kW Quick Charge port — enabling you to recharge the i3 from empty to full in around half an hour — you’ll have to add £560 to your car’s price.
This gives buyers the ability to really think about what they want from a car and create a car that works for them. If you don’t drive long distances very often for example, you don’t have to specify DC Quick Charging on your car. If you live in a city where you’re constantly needing to park in tight spaces in busy streets, add in the Park Assist package.
The only trick BMW misses is allowing buyers to spec options that alter driving performance. For example, upgrading the inverter or motor to increase acceleration times. The base level i3 will accelerate as fast as a fully loaded i3 – that is, if you don’t go for the range extender. The range extender, due to the weight will add nearly ¾ of a second to the 0-62 mph time and reduce the battery-only range. But such trade-offs are to be expected.
If you really want that BMW feel in your i3, you can take a look at some of the extras available:
- The Suite interior package to get leather seats and lovely wooden dash surface: £2000.
- Metallic paint: £530.
- Heat pump heating system: £530.
- Park Assist package: £790.
- Heated front seats: £260.
- Electric sunroof: £780.
Out of interest, and because it is always a fun game to play, we have worked out how much an i3 would set you back with all the additional features: £46,065 (£41,065 after UK Government incentive). This does included the BMW Service Inclusive Plus programme.
What options would you choose and why? Take a look at the price list and let us know below.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.