Anyone looking to own the upcoming BMW i3 will likely end up paying quite the price premium over the Nissan Leaf.
The upcoming BMW i3 EV may not look like all that much from its exterior appearance, but the automaker apparently has plans to charge a pretty penny for it nonetheless. According to Automotive News, the five-door i3 will be priced at around $40,000. For the same money, one could instead drive home a well-equipped 3 Series sedan. That amount will likely be reduced by $7,500 in federal tax credits but even then the final price still sounds quite high. To compare, the base Nissan Leaf will cost just over $21k after the tax credit.
Point being: consumers will be asked to pay just over $10k more for an EV with carbon-fiber construction and BMW badges. Granted, the i3 is expected to have a 99-mile range while the updated 2013 Leaf can achieve up to 84 miles on a full charge. But is an (estimated) additional 15 mile range worth the price difference? BMW is apparently aware of the pitfalls of owning an EV and it has a potential solution. The automaker's North American CEO, Ludwig Willisch, states that i3 owners will be a part of a program that allows them to borrow a gas or diesel-powered car for longer trips. Call it an "additional mobility package," according to Willisch.