Saturday, 6 August 2011

BMW electric cars i3 and i8 to be launched in two years

While the world over, Electric Vehicle technology is getting top priority and several car models like Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf have received prominent attention due to their technology. Now it has been reported that according to a report in The Business Line, German luxury car maker BMW is upbeat on its new electric car initiative which kicked off with the recent unveiling of the i3 and i8 concepts in Frankfurt. These cars are due to hit the market in 2013-14.

The report quoted Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management as saying “Our first country for launch of these cars is Germany. We have the world in our minds which includes India as well, but this will only happen in the future.” As per the European Union's clean air norms, carmakers need to fulfil specific carbon emission targets. This will require use of plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. “If we move to the US, we are more or less in the same situation. There will be regions where the BMW i3 is a zero emission vehicle and that would be good for us. This is how we plan distribution of these cars across the world,” Dr Reithofer said, according to the report.
It was also mentioned that the BMW electric cars, the i3 and i8 will be produced in Leipzig, Germany, and will involve an initial investment of around 400 million euros. The company is also exploring the option of setting up a wind power station in the facility. The cars will be part of a new retail drive since they are targeted at specific customers. The i3 concept, which can seat four people, is ideal for cities. It can touch a speed of 100 kmph in less than eight seconds. The i8, on the other hand, represents dynamic driving and is ‘the sports car of the new generation'. BMW will initially focus on major cities and, over time, the i-family will grow as it goes global. 


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